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Drawn  by  \Vy;itt  Eaton  from  a  photograph  ;   engraved  by  Timothy  Cole. 




VOi    '     E   SEX- 










Copyright,  1886  and  1890, 

by  John  G.  Nicolay 

and  John  Hay. 

Copyright  renewed,  1914, 
by  Helen  G.  Nicolay. 

PRINTED  IN  U.    S.   A. 

Vol.  VII 

Abraham  Lincoln Frontispiece 

Drawn  by  Wyatt  Eaton  from  a  photograph. 


General  James  B.  Fry 16 

Prom  a  photograph. 

Rear-Admiral  Samuel  F.  Du  Pont 48 

From  a  photograph  lent  by  Horatio  L.  Wait. 

Rear- Admiral  John  Rodgers 66 

From  a  photograph  by  Brady. 

Rear-Admiral  John  A.  Dahlgren 80 

From  a  photograph  lent  by  Horatio  L.  Wait. 

General  Thomas  J.  (  "  Stonewall"  )  Jackson 96 

From  a  photograph  by  Tanner  &  Van  Ness. 
General  Joseph  Hooker 112 

From  a  photograph  by  Brady. 
General  Earl  Van  Dorn 128 

From  a  photograph  by  Earle  &  Son. 
General  John  A.  McClernand 144 

From  a  photograph. 
General  William  T.  Sherman 160 

From  a  photograph  by  George  M.  Bell. 
General  Ulysses  S.  Grant 176 

From  a  photograph  by  Brady. 
General  Joseph  E.  Johnston 192 

From  a  photograph  by  Brady,  taken  in  1867. 
General  Richard  S.  Ewell 208 

From  a  photograph  by  Anderson-Cook, 


General  George  G.  Meade 224 

Prom  a  photograph  by  Brady. 

General  John  F.  Reynolds 240 

From  a  photograph  by  Brady. 

General  George  E.  Pickett 272 

From  a  photograph  by  Anderson-Cook. 
General  E.  Kirby  Smith 288 

From  a  photograph  by  Brady. 

General  J.  C.  Pemberton 304 

From  a  photograph. 

General  Nathaniel  P.  Banks 320 

From  a  photograph. 

General  Eobert  C.  Schenck 336 

From  a  photograph. 
Henry  Wilson 384 

From  a  photograph  by  Hoyt. 

General  Quincy  A.  Gillmore 432 

From  a  photograph  by  Brady. 

General  John  E.  Wool 448 

From  a  photograph  by  Brady. 

Vol.  VII 


The  South  Carolina  Coast 62 

Charleston  Harbor  and  Vicinity 68 

The  Chancellorsville  Campaign 94 

Campaigns  in  the  Mississippi  Valley 114 

The  Chickasaw  Bayou  Campaign 132 

Battle  of  Arkansas  Post  138 

Battles  of  Champion's  Hill  and  Black  River  Bridge  ...  180 

Battles  of  Raymond  and  Jackson 181 

The  Gettysburg  Campaign: 

Positions,  June  12 207 

Positions,  June  17 214 

Positions,  June  28 222 

Positions,  June  29 230 

Positions,  June  30 231 


The  Gettysburg  Campaign  : 

Positions,  July  1,  about  3 :  30  and  4  p.  M 241 

Positions,  July  2,  about  3 :  30  p.  m 252 

Positions,  July  2,  about  7:15,  till  after  dark..   256 

Positions,  July  3,  3 :  15  to  5 :  30  p.  m 264 

Dispositions  for  the  Cavalry  Battle,  July  3 270 

Positions,  July  13 276 

The  Siege  of  Vicksburg 284 

The  Siege  of  Port  Hudson 318 

Vol.  VII 
Chapter  I.    The  Enrollment  and  the  Draft 

The  First  Calls  for  Troops.  Congress  Authorizes  the 
Raising  of  a  Million  Men.  The  Call  for  300,000  in  July, 
1862.  An  Enrollment  Bill  Passed  in  Senate  and  House 
in  1863.  Provisions  of  the  Bill.  Duties  of  the  Provost- 
Marshal  General.  Results  of  the  Enrollment  and  Draft. 
Governor  Seymour's  Opposition  to  the  Draft.  The 
President's  Attempt  to  Establish  Good  Relations  with 
him.  Seymour  Believes  the  Enrollment  Law  Unconsti- 
tutional. He  Gives  no  Assistance  to  the  Government 
Officers.  Violent  Language  of  the  Democratic  Press. 
The  Draft  Riots  of  July,  1863.  Conduct  of  Governor 
Seymour.  Archbishop  Hughes.  Questions  of  Exemp- 
tion and  Bounties.  Confederate  Measures  for  Raising 
Troops.    Their  Final  Failure 

Chapter  II.    The   Lincoln-Seymour  Corre- 

Governor  Seymour's  Opposition  to  the  Draft  Continued. 
His  Correspondence  with  the  President.  The  Presi- 
dent Reduces  Quotas  at  his  Request.  The  Draft  Re- 
sumed. No  Forcible  Resistance.  The  Governor's 
Protests.  A  Commission  Appointed  to  Investigate  the 
Subject  of  Enrollment.  Their  Report  Considered. 
Seymour  Defeated  for  Reelection.  The  General  Re- 
sults of  the  Enrollment.    Lincoln's  Personal  Care  of 


Details.  He  Wrote,  but  did  not  Publish,  an  Elaborate 
Argument  on  the  Draft.  His  Proposed  Appeal  to  the 
People 32 

Chaptee  III.  Du  Pont  Befoee  Charleston 

The  Blockade.  An  Attempt  to  Break  it.  Beaure- 
gard's Proclamation.  Worden  Destroys  the  Nashville. 
Attack  on  Fort  McAllister.  The  Attack  on  Charleston 
by  Du  Pont.  Excitement  in  the  Confederate  Camp. 
Forces  of  Hunter  and  Beauregard.  Force  of  the  Fleet. 
Failure  of  the  Attack.  Reports  of  the  Officers  of  the 
Ironclads.  Du  Pont  Declines  to  Renew  the  Attack. 
His  Orders  from  Washington.  Correspondence  with 
Hunter  and  with  the  Government.  The  Faults  of  the 
Monitors.  The  Capture  of  the  Atlanta.  The  Sinking 
of  the  WeehawJcen.  Beauregard's  Plans.  Hunter's 
Proposition.  Du  Pont  and  Hunter  Relieved.  Compli- 
mentary Letters 58 

Chapter  IV.    Chancellorsville 

Lincoln's  Letter  to  Hooker  on  his  Assuming  Command 
of  the  Army  of  the  Potomac.  Hooker's  Energy  and 
Efficiency.  The  Army  Reorganized.  Plans  for  a  For- 
ward Movement.  Lincoln's  Memorandum.  Hooker's 
Plan  of  Campaign.  A  Bold  and  Successful  March. 
Hooker  Crosses  the  Rappahannock  and  Rapidan,  and 
Moves  on  Lee's  Rear.  The  Wilderness  of  Chancellors- 
ville. Hooker  Halts  his  Army.  His  Hesitation.  Lee 
Sends  Jackson  to  Attack  the  Union  Right.  Defeat  of 
the  Eleventh  Corps.  Death  of  Jackson.  Good  Con- 
duct of  Sickles,  Berry,  and  Whipple.  Events  of  May 
3d.  Hooker  Disabled.  Sedgwick's  Capture  of  Fred- 
ericksburg, and  March  to  Salem  Church.  Council  of 
War  on  the  4th  of  May.  The  Army  Recrosses  the 
Rappahannock 87 

Chapter  V.    Preludes  to  the  Vicksburg  Cam- 

Battles  of  Iuka  and  Corinth.  Rosecrans  Promoted  to 
Command  the  Army  of  the  Cumberland.  Van  Dorn 
Superseded  by  Pemberton.    Grant's  Plan  of  Marching 


South  in  Rear  of  Vicksburg.  The  Great  Yazoo  Valley. 
Grant's  March  to  Oxford.  The  Expedition  down  the 
River.  Sherman  Starts  in  Command.  McClernand 
Sent  to  Supersede  him.  Grant's  Communications  Sev- 
ered. He  Returns  to  Holly  Springs.  Jefferson  Davis's 
Visit  to  Mississippi.  Sherman's  Defeat  at  Walnut 
Hills.  General  McClernand.  His  Relations  to  Lincoln. 
The  Capture  of  Arkansas  Post.  Grant's  Dislike  of 
McClernand 112 

Chapter  VI.    The  Campaign  of  the  Bayous 

Grant  Takes  Personal  Charge  of  the  Campaign 
Against  Vicksburg.  The  Young's  Point  Canal  Scheme. 
Its  Failure.  The  Lake  Providence  and  Bayou  Macon 
Plan.  The  Yazoo  Pass  Project.  The  Attempt  at 
Steele's  Bayou.  Sherman  and  Porter.  The  Fleet  in 
Danger.  The  Dark  Hour  of  Grant's  Fortunes.  The 
President's  Faith  in  him.  Sherman's  Plan  of  Attack 
from  the  North.  Rejected  by  Grant.  Grant  Resolves 
to  go  Below  Vicksburg.  The  Passage  of  the  Batteries 
by  the  Fleet.  Grierson's  Raid.  Pemberton's  Forces. 
Confederate  Movements.  Grant's  Attack  on  Grand 
Gulf.    "  The  Battle  More  Than  Half  Won"    .    .    .    .  144 

Chapter  VII.    Grant's    May  Battles  in  Mis- 

The  Battle  of  Port  Gibson.  Retreat  of  the  Confed- 
erates. Occupation  of  Grand  Gulf.  Grant's  Personal 
Attention  to  Details.  He  Cuts  Loose  from  the  River 
and  Marches  Towards  Jackson.  The  Battle  of  Ray- 
mond. General  Johnston  Sent  to  Mississippi.  An- 
nounces to  the  Confederate  Government  that  he  has 
Arrived  too  Late.  Capture  of  Jackson  by  Sherman 
and  McPherson.  Mistakes  of  the  Confederate  Com- 
manders. The  Battle  of  Champion's  Hill.  Retreat  of 
the  Confederates  to  Vicksburg.  Battle  of  the  Big 
Black 169 

Chapter  VIII.    The  Invasion  of  Pennsylvania 

The  Army  of  the  Potomac  After  Chancellorsville.  Cor- 
respondence of  Lincoln  and  Hooker.    Elation  of  the 


Confederates.  The  Invasion  of  the  North  Resolved 
Upon.  General  Lee's  Motives.  "  Swapping  Queens." 
The  Cavalry  Battle  of  Brandy's  Station .  Hooker's  Plan 
of  Moving  on  Richmond.  It  is  Disapproved.  The 
Capture  of  Winchester.  Lee  Crosses  the  Potomac. 
Hooker's  March  from  Falmouth.  His  Quarrel  with 
Halleck.  Lincoln's  Effort  at  Conciliation.  Bad  Man- 
agement of  Confederate  Cavalry.  The  March  of  the 
Confederates  Northward.  Harrisburg  Threatened. 
York  and  Carlisle  Occupied.  Hooker  Crosses  the 
Potomac.  Wishes  Maryland  Heights  Abandoned. 
Halleck  Refuses  and  Hooker  Requests  to  be  Relieved. 
His  Request  Granted.  Meade  Appointed  his  Suc- 
cessor  197 

Chapter  IX.    Gettysburg 

General  Meade  Assumes  Command  of  the  Army  of  the 
Potomac.  His  March  Northward.  Lee's  Lack  of 
Cavalry.  The  Two  Armies  Approaching  Each  Other. 
The  Position  at  Pipe  Creek.  Gettysburg :  Its  Topog- 
raphy. Reynolds's  Advance.  Buford  at  Gettysburg. 
The  Battle  of  the  1st  of  July.  Death  of  Reynolds. 
Howard's  Corps  Defeated.  Cemetery  Hill  Occupied. 
Arrival  of  Hancock.  Meade  Determines  to  Fight  at 
Gettysburg.  The  Whole  Army  Brought  Up.  Lee's 
Error.  Sickles's  Position.  The  Battle  at  Peach  Or- 
chard, and  Little  Round  Top.  Confederates  Gain 
Ground  at  Rock  Creek.  Meade  and  Lee  Both  Resolve 
to  Fight  out  the  Battle  on  the  3d.  The  Fight  at  Culp's 
Hill.  The  Cannonade  at  Noon.  Longstreet's  Anguish. 
Pickett's  Charge.  The  Confederates  Defeated.  Meade 
does  not  Pursue.  Opinions  on  Both  Sides.  The  Fourth 
of  July.  Retreat  of  Lee.  Orders  of  the  Government 
to  Meade.  His  Council  of  War.  Lee  Bridges  the  Po- 
tomac, and  Crosses  Safely  into  Virginia.  Lincoln's 
Disappointment.    A  Letter  Which  was  not  Sent     .    .  229 

Chapter  X.    Vicksburg 

The  Confederate  Position.  Grant  Assaults  on  the  19th 
and  the  22d  of  May.  Failure  of  Both  Attempts.  Con- 
troversy with   McClernand.    Investment    and   Siege. 


Novel  Engineering  Expedients.  Incidents  of  the  Siege. 
Johnston's  Attempts  to  Relieve  Pemberton.  His  Cor- 
respondence with  Richmond.  The  Union  Mines. 
Privations  in  Vicksbnrg.  Demoralization  of  the  Con- 
federates. A  Council  Favors  Capitulation.  Overtures 
made  on  the  3d  of  July.  Negotiations.  Grant's  Final 
Terms.  Pemberton's  Surrender.  "  How  Many  Ra- 
tions?" "  32,000."  The  Paroling  of  the  Prisoners. 
Consequences  of  the  Action.  Magnitude  of  the 
Victory 282 

Chapter  XL    Port  Hudson 

Banks  Sails  for  New  Orleans.  His  Requisitions.  A 
Letter  from  Lincoln.  The  Expedition  to  Texas.  Its 
Failure.  Affairs  in  Louisiana.  Correspondence  Be- 
tween Banks  and  Grant.  Banks  Moves  Against  Port 
Hudson.  Assaults  the  Confederate  Works.  Is  Re- 
pulsed. The  Siege.  Confederate  Operations.  Port 
Hudson  Surrendered  July  9th.  Fruits  of  the  Victory. 
Confederates  Defeated  at  Helena,  Arkansas,  on  the  4th 
of  July.  Sherman  Marches  to  Jackson.  The  Plaudits 
of  the  Country.  Lincoln's  Letter  to  Grant  after  Vicks- 
burg.     The  Mississippi  Opened  to  Commerce      .    .    .  311 

Chapter  XII.    Vallandigham 

Burnside's  Order  No.  38.  Vallandigham's  Speeches. 
His  Arrest  and  Imprisonment.  Trial  by  Military  Com- 
mission. His  Protest.  Sentenced  to  Imprisonment  at 
Fort  Warren.  Proceedings  in  Habeas  Corpus.  Burn- 
side's  Letter  to  the  Court.  Judge  Leavitt's  Decision 
Denying  the  Motion.  The  President  Commutes  Val- 
landigham's Sentence  to  Deportation  Within  the  Con- 
federate Lines.  The  Feeling  in  the  South.  The 
Protests  from  Democrats  in  the  North.  Governor 
Seymour's  Letter.  Resolutions  of  a  Meeting  at  Albany. 
The  President's  Reply.  War  Powers  of  the  Constitu- 
tion. Democrats  of  Ohio  Nominate  Vallandigham  for 
Governor.  Their  Letter  to  the  President.  Mr.  Lin- 
coln's Reply.  His  Counter-proposition  Rejected.  Val- 
landigham's Journey  to  Canada.  His  Defeat  at  the 
Election.     His  Return  in  1864 328 


Chaptee  XIII.  The  Defeat  of  the  Peace  Pakty 
at  the  Polls 

Solidity  of  the  Democratic  Party.  Union  Reverses  in 
the  Elections  of  1862.  Letter  of  Lincoln  to  Schurz. 
Peace  Projects  at  Richmond  and  Washington.  Fer- 
nando Wood.  His  Correspondence  with  Lincoln.  Dun3 
Green.  Mission  of  Alexander  H.  Stephens.  The  Presi- 
dent Declines  to  Receive  him.  The  reelection  of  Gov- 
ernor Curtin.  Mr.  Lincoln's  Letter  to  the  Springfield 
Mass  Meeting.  Union  Successes  in  the  Elections  of 
1863.  Opinions  of  Stanton,  Seward,  Dixon  and 
Chandler.  Attempt  of  Etheridge  to  Exclude  Union 
Members  from  the  House  of  Representatives.  Frank 
P.  Blair,  Jr.  Lincoln's  Letter  about  his  Candidacy 
for  Speaker.    Schuyler  Colfax  Elected  Speaker     .    .  361 

Chapter  XIV.    Maximilian 

The  French  Invasion  of  Mexico.  Forey  in  the  Capital. 
The  Assembly  of  Notables.  The  Embassy  to  Miramar. 
Maximilian's  Conditions.  The  War  in  Mexico.  Atti- 
tude of  Mr.  Lincoln  Towards  the  Government  of  France. 
Mr.  Seward's  Dispatches.  The  Monroe  Doctrine.  The 
Administration  Criticized  in  Congress.  Mr.  Seward's 
Explanation  of  a  Vote  in  the  House.  Maximilian 
Accepts  the  Imperial  Crown  of  Mexico.  Declines  to 
Receive  the  Confederate  Envoy  in  Paris.  Arrival  in 
Mexico.  Trouble  with  the  Church  Party.  Finances. 
Schemes  of  Emigration.  Resolutions  of  the  Baltimore 
Convention.  Fall  of  the  Empire  and  Death  of  Maxi- 
milian  396 

Chapter  XV.    Fort  Wagner 

Dahlgren  and  Gillmore  Appointed  to  Command  the 
Fleet  and  the  Army  at  Charleston.  Strength  of  the 
Confederate  Positions.  Gillmore's  Descent  upon  Morris 
Island.  The  Assault  upon  Fort  Wagner,  July  18.  A 
Disastrous  Repulse.  Gillmore's  Siege  Operations. 
"  The  Swamp  Angel."  Demolition  of  Sumter.  Fort 
Wagner  Evacuated.  Gillmore's  Correspondence  with 
Beauregard.  The  Ruins  of  Sumter.  Mutual  Criti- 
cisms of  Beauregard  and  Gillmore 424 


Chapter  XVI.    Prisoners  of  War 

Why  the  Subject  is  Referred  to.  The  Documents  in  the 
Case.  The  Treatment  of  Prisoners  at  the  Outbreak  of 
the  "War.  The  Texas  Prisoners.  A  Cartel  at  last 
Adopted.  The  Question  of  the  Privateersmen.  Con- 
tinual Difficulties.  Negro  Troops.  Murder  of  Colored 
Prisoners.  Retaliation  Impossible  on  the  Part  of  Lin- 
coln. Streight  and  Morgan.  The  Union  Commission- 
ers Oppose  Retaliation.  Commissioner  Ould's  Thrift. 
Grant  and  Butler  act  with  Energy.  Attempt  at 
Political  Capital.  The  Comparative  Treatment  of 
Prisoners.  Confederates  in  the  North.  Their  Fare 
and  Lodging.  Report  of  Lieutenant-Colonel  Chandler 
on  the  Prison  at  Andersonville.  Crowded  to  Suffoca- 
tion. Twenty-three  Acres  for  35,000  Men.  Foul  and 
Insufficient  Food.  Arraignment  of  Winder.  Report  of 
Dr.  Jones.  Disease  and  Death.  Frightful  Mortality. 
Threats  of  Wholesale  Slaughter 444 




THE  successive  steps  by  which  the  army  of  the  chap.  i. 
United  States,  numbering  some  seventeen 
thousand  men  when  Mr.  Lincoln  was  inaugurated, 
grew  to  the  vast  aggregate  of  a  million  soldiers 
deserve  a  word  of  notice.  We  can  do  no  more  than 
to  summarize  briefly  the  process,  referring  those  of 
our  readers  who  may  wish  to  study  the  matter 
more  in  detail  to  the  admirable  historical  statement 
of  General  James  B.  Fry,  appended  to  the  report  of 
the  Secretary  of  War  to  the  Thirty-ninth  Congress. 
The  first  troops  mustered  into  the  service  were  the 
militia  of  the  District  of  Columbia;  thirty-eight 
companies  were  thus  obtained.  On  the  15th  of 
April  was  issued,  under  the  law  of  1795,  the  Presi-  lsei. 
dent's  proclamation  calling  for  75,000  troops  for 
ninety  days.  Their  work  was  the  protection  of  the 
capital ;  their  service  mainly  ended  with  the  first 
battle  of  Bull  Run.  On  the  3d  of  May,  the  President 
issued  a  call  for  42,000  volunteers  to  serve  three 
years,  unless  sooner  discharged;  he  increased  at 
Vol.  VII.— 1 


chap.  i.  the  same  time  the  regular  army  by  eight  regiments, 
and  directed  the  enlistment  of  18,000  seamen.  This 
was  done  without  authority  from  Congress,  but  the 
act  was  legalized  when  that  body  came  together.  The 
volunteers  called  for  were  immediately  raised  and 
many  more  were  offered;  but  the  recruits  for  the 
regular  army  came  in  slowly,  and  the  new  regiments 
were  in  fact  never  fully  organized  until  the  close  of 
the  war.  After  the  disastrous  battle  of  Bull  Run 
the  patriotism  of  Congress  promptly  rose  to  the 
emergency,  and  within  a  few  days  successive  acts 

juiy  22,  and  were  passed  giving  the  President  authority  to  raise 
i86i.  '     an  army  of  a  million  men. 

So  enthusiastic  was  the  response  of  the  people 
in  those  early  days  that  the  chief  embarrassment  of 
the  Government  at  first  was  to  check  and  repress 
the  offers  of  volunteers.  Some  regions  were  more 
liberal  in  their  tenders  of  troops  than  others ;  in- 
dividuals and  companies  rejected  from  one  State 
whose  quota  was  full,  enlisted  from  another ;  pious 
frauds  were  practiced  to  get  a  place  under  the 
colors.  Much  confusion  and  annoyance  afterwards 
resulted  from  these  causes.  Under  authority  of 
the  acts  of  Congress  referred  to,  a  force  of  637,126 
men  was  in  the  service  in  the  spring  of  1862.  This, 
it  was  thought,  would  be  adequate  for  the  work  of 
suppressing  the  insurrection;  the  expenses  of  the 
military  establishment  had  risen  to  appalling  pro- 
portions, and  the  ill-advised  resolution  was  taken 
of  putting  a  stop  to  volunteer  recruiting  on  the  3d 
1862.  of  April.  As  the  waste  of  the  armies  went  on  with- 
Report,  ou^  corresponding  successes,  the  error  which  had 
MarlSai     heen  committed  was  recognized,   and   recruiting 

partnL,rp%.  was  resumed  in  June;  but  before  much  progress 


was  made  the  ill-fortune  of  McClellan  in  the  Pen-     chap.i. 
insula,  and  its  unfavorable  effect  on  the  public 
mind,  chilled  and  discouraged  recruitment.    The 
necessity  for  more  troops  was  as  evident  to  the 
country  as  to  the  Government. 

While  General  McClellan  was  on  his  retreat  to 
the  James,  the  Governors  of  the  loyal  States  signed  1862. 
a  letter  to  the  President  requesting  him  to  issue  a 
call  for  additional  troops,  and  it  was  in  response 
to  this  that  Mr.  Lincoln  issued  his  call,  on  the  2d 
of  July,  1862,  for  300,000  volunteers.  The  need  of 
troops  continuing  and  becoming  more  and  more 
pressing,  the  call  for  300,000  nine  months  militia 
was  issued  on  the  4th  of  August,  and  in  some  of 
the  States  a  draft  from  the  militia  was  ordered,  the 
results  of  which  were  not  especially  satisfactory. 
Only  about  87,000  of  the  300,000  required  were  re- 
ported as  obtained  in  this  way,  and  this  number 
was  greatly  reduced  by  desertion  before  the  men 
could  be  got  out  of  their  respective  States. 

In  Pennsylvania  a  somewhat  serious  organization 
was  formed  in  several  counties  for  resisting  the 
draft.  Governor  Curtin  reported  several  thousand 
recusants  in  arms.  They  would  not  permit  the 
drafted  men  who  were  willing  to  go  to  their  duty 
to  leave  their  homes,  and  even  forced  them  to  get 
out  of  the  railway  trains  after  they  had  embarked. 
By  the  prompt  and  energetic  action  of  the  State 
and  National  governments  working  in  harmony, 
this  disorder  was  soon  suppressed.  But  there,  as 
elsewhere,  the  enrollment  was  inefficient  and  the 
results  entirely  inadequate. 

Early  in  the  year  1863  it  became  evident  that  the 
armies  necessary  for  an  effective  prosecution  of  the 


chap.  i.  war  could  not  be  filled  by  volunteering,  nor  by 
State  action  alone,  and  a  bill  for  enrolling  and  call- 
1863.  ing  out  the  national  forces  was  introduced  in  the 
Senate  in  the  beginning  of  February,  and  at  once 
gave  rise  in  that  body  to  a  hot  discussion.  It  was 
attacked  by  the  Democratic  Senators,  who  were 
mostly  from  the  border  States,  with  the  greatest 
energy  and  feeling.  They  contended  that  it  was 
in  direct  violation  of  the  Constitution,  and,  if 
passed,  would  be  subversive  of  the  liberties  of  the 
country.  They  were  joined  by  William  A.  Richard- 

«  Giobe,"  son,  who  had  succeeded  Mr.  Douglas  as  Senator  from 
1863^  p.  709.  Illinois,  and  who  warned  his  colleagues  that  they 
were  plunging  the  country  into  civil  war.  The 
bill  was  principally  defended  by  Henry  Wilson  of 
Massachusetts  and  Jacob  Collamer  of  Vermont,  the 
former  laying  most  stress  upon  the  necessities  of 
the  country,  and  the  latter  characteristically  advo- 
cating the  measure  on  legal  and  constitutional 

The  bill  passed  the  Senate  and  came  up  in  the 
1863.  House  on  the  23d  of  February.  Abram  B.  Olin, 
who  had  charge  of  it,  announced  at  the  beginning, 
with  a  somewhat  crude  candor,  that  he  proposed  to 
permit  discussion  of  the  merits  of  the  bill  for  a 
reasonable  time  and  then  to  demand  a  vote  upon 
it.  He  was  not  willing  to  hazard  the  loss  of  a  bill 
he  deemed  so  important  by  opening  it  to  proposi- 
tions for  amendment.  But  in  spite  of  this  warn- 
ing, perhaps  by  reason  of  it,  an  animated  discussion 
at  once  sprang  up  and  many  amendments  were 
offered,  some  in  good  faith,  and  some  with  the  pur- 
pose of  nullifying  the  bill.  The  measure  was  at- 
tacked with  great  violence.    The  object  and  purpose 


of  the  President  was  proclaimed  by  Democratic  chap.i. 
members  to  be  the  establishment  of  an  irresponsible  i863. 
despotism ;  and  the  destruction  of  constitutional 
liberty  was  prophesied  as  certain  in  case  the  bill 
should  pass.  There  was  a  great  difference  of  tone 
between  the  opponents  and  the  supporters  of  the 
Administration ;  the  latter,  confident  in  their 
strength,  were  far  more  moderate  in  their  expres- 
sions than  the  former,  but  there  were  reproaches 
and  recriminations  on  both  sides.  Democrats, 
like  Mr.  Cox  of  Ohio,  Mr.  Biddle  of  Pennsylvania, 
and  Messrs.  Mallory  and  Wickliffe  of  Kentucky, 
claimed  that  the  antislavery  measures  of  the  Ad- 
ministration were  the  sole  cause  of  military  failure, 
and  that  if  the  President  would  return  to  constitu- 
tional ways  the  armies  would  soon  be  filled  by  vol- 
unteering; to  which  the  Republicans  answered 
that  the  cessation  of  volunteering  was  due  to  the 
treasonable  speech  and  conduct  of  the  opposition. 

Some  unimportant  amendments  were  attached 
to  the  bill,  which  was  sent  back  to  the  Senate  for 
concurrence,  and  after  another  debate,  scarcely 
less  passionate  than  the  first,  the  amendments  of 
the  House  were  adopted  and  the  measure  became 
a  law,  by  the  approval  of  the  President,  on  the  3d 
of  March,  1863. 

This  was  the  first  law  enacted  by  Congress  by 
which  the  Government  of  the  United  States  with- 
out the  intervention  of  the  authorities  of  the  sev- 
eral States  appealed  directly  to  the  nation  to  create 
large  armies.  The  act  declared  that,  with  certain 
exceptions  especially  set  forth,  all  able-bodied  male 
citizens  and  persons  of  foreign  birth  who  had  de- 
clared their  intention  to  become  citizens,  between 


chap.  i.  the  ages  of  20  and  45,  should  constitute  the  na- 
tional forces,  and  empowered  the  President  to  call 
them  forth  by  draft.  All  were  to  be  called  out  if 
necessary ;  the  first  call  was  actually  for  one-fifth, 
but  that  was  a  measure  of  expediency.  The  act  pro- 
vided for  the  appointment  or  detail,  by  the  President, 
of  a  provost  marshal  general,  who  was  to  be  the 
head  of  a  bureau  in  the  War  Department,  and  for 
dividing  the  States  into  districts  coinciding  with 
those  for  the  election  of  Congressmen.  The  Dis- 
trict of  Columbia  and  the  Territories  formed  addi- 
tional districts.  A  provost  marshal  was  author- 
ized for  each  of  these  districts,  with  whom  was 
associated  a  commissioner  and  a  surgeon.  The 
board  thus  formed  was  required  to  divide  its  dis- 
trict into  as  many  sub-districts  as  might  be  found 
necessary,  to  appoint  an  enrolling  officer  for  each, 
and  to  make  an  enrollment  immediately. 

Colonel  James  B.  Fry,  an  assistant  adjutant- 
general  of  the  army,  who  had  formerly  been  chief - 
of-stafE  to  General  Buell,  and  who  was  not  only 
an  accomplished  soldier  but  an  executive  officer  of 
extraordinary  tact,  ability,  and  industry,  was  made 
provost  marshal  general.  Officers  of  the  army, 
selected  for  their  administrative  capacity,  were 
appointed  provost  marshals  for  the  several  States. 
The  enrollment  began  the  latter  part  of  May,  and 
was  pushed  forward  with  great  energy,  except  in 
the  border  States,  where  there  was  some  difficulty 
found  in  selecting  the  proper  boards  of  enrollment. 
While  there  was  more  or  less  opposition,  General 
Fry  says:  "It  could  not  be  said  to  be  serious; 
some  of  the  officers  were  maltreated,  and  one  or 
two  assassinated,  but  prompt  action  on  the  part  of 


the  civil  authorities,  aided  when  necessary  by  mili-     chap.i. 
tary  patrols,  secured  the  arrest  of  guilty  parties 
and  checked  these  outrages." 

Those  who  attempted  to  obstruct  enrollment  of- 
ficers were  promptly  punished,  and  orders  from  the 
War  Department  gave  a  clear  definition  of  what 
constituted  impediments  to  the  drafts.  Not  only  the 
assaulting  or  obstructing  of  officers  was  cause  for 
punishment,  but  even  standing  mute,  and  the  giv- 
ing of  false  names,  subjected  the  offender  to  sum- 
mary arrest. 

In  addition  to  the  duties  of  enrolling  all  citizens 
capable  of  bearing  arms,  of  drafting  from  these  the 
numbers  required  for  military  service,  and  of  ar- 
resting deserters  and  returning  them  to  the  army, 
the  Provost  Marshal  General  was  also  charged  with 
the  entire  work  of  recruiting  volunteers.  This  in- 
sured harmony  and  systematic  action  in  the  two 
methods  of  raising  troops,  and  the  work  was  car- 
ried on  with  constantly  increasing  efficiency  and 
success.  A  comparatively  small  number  of  men 
was  obtained  strictly  by  the  draft,  but  the  draft 
powerfully  stimulated  enlistments,  and  the  money 
obtained  by  commutation  furnished  an  ample  fund 
for  all  the  expenses  of  the  bureaus  of  recruitment. 
Improvements  in  the  law  and  the  modes  of  execu- 
ting it  were  constantly  made,  until  at  the  close  of 
the  war  the  system  was  probably  as  perfect  as 
human  ingenuity  could  make  it  under  the  peculiar 
conditions  of  American  life.  The  result  proved  the 
vast  military  resources  of  the  nation.  In  April, 
1865,  with  a  million  soldiers  in  the  field,  the  enroll- 
ment showed  that  the  national  forces,  not  called 
out,  consisted  of  2,245,000  more.    We  quote  the 



p.  46. 

"  Annual 
dia," 1865, 
p.  31. 

aggregates  of  the  successive  calls  and  their  results 
from  General  Fry's  final  report.  The  quotas 
charged  against  the  States,  under  all  calls  made  by 
the  President  during  the  four  years  from  the  15th 
of  April,  1861,  when  his  first  proclamation  echoed 
the  guns  at  Sumter,  to  the  14th  of  April,  1865, 
when  Lincoln  was  assassinated  and  recruiting 
ceased,  amounted  to  2,759,049 ;  the  terms  of  service 
varying  from  three  months  to  three  years.  The  ag- 
gregate number  of  men  credited  on  the  several  calls, 
and  put  into  service  in  the  army,  navy,  and  marine 
corps,  was  2,690,401.  This  left  a  deficiency  of  sixty- 
eight  thousand,  which  would  have  been  readily 
filled  if  the  war  had  not  closed.  In  addition  to 
these  some  seventy  thousand  "  emergency  men " 
were  from  first  to  last  called  into  service.1 

During  the  progress  of  the  work  an  infinite 
variety  of  questions  arose  as  to  the  quotas  and  the 
credits  of  the  several  States,  and  the  President  was 

1  The  following  details  of  the  several  calls  and  their  results  are 
taken  from  a  report  made  to  Congress  by  the  Secretary  of  War  in 

the  Session  of  1865-66  : 

Number  Term  of 

of  Men.  Service. 

Call  of  April  15, 1861,  for  75,000  men  produced 98,235  3  months 

{2,715  6  months 

9,056  1  year 

30,952  2  years 

657,863  3  years 

Call  of  July  2, 1862,  for  500,000  men  produced 419,627  3  years 

Call  of  August  4, 1862,  for  300,000  men  produced. . . .  86,860  9  months 

Proclamation  of  June  15, 1863,  for  militia  (100,000) . .  16,361  6  months 

Calls  of  October  15, 1863,  and  February  1, 1864,  for 

500,000  men . .          374,807  3  years 

Call  of  March  14, 1864,  for  200,000  men 284,021  3  years 

Militia  mustered  in  the  spring  of  1864 83,612  100  days 

(  149,356  l&2yrs. 

Call  of  July  18,  1864,  for  500,000 \    234,798  3  years 

(         728  4  years 

/  151,105  1  year 

Call  of  December  19, 1864,  for  300,000 <     48'065  3  years 

(        '312  4  years 

The  aggregate  shows  a  great  many  more  soldiers  than  ever  served, 
as  a  large  number  enlisted  more  than  once.  Veteran  volunteers  to 
the  number  of  150,000  reenlisted  in  1863-64.  Deserters  and 
bounty-jumpers  must  also  be  deducted. 


overwhelmed  by  complaints  and  reclamations  from  chap.i. 
various  Governors  in  the  North.  Even  the  most 
loyal  supporters  of  the  Administration  exerted 
themselves  to  the  utmost  to  have  the  demands  up- 
on them  reduced  and  their  credits  for  troops  fur- 
nished raised  to  the  highest  possible  figure ;  while 
in  those  States  which  were  politically  under  the 
control  of  the  opposition  these  natural  importu- 
nities were  aggravated  by  what  seemed  a  deliberate 
intention  to  frustrate  as  far  as  possible  the  efforts 
of  the  Government  to  fill  its  depleted  armies.1  The 
most  serious  controversy  that  arose  during  the 
progress  of  the  enrollment  was  that  begun  and 
carried  on  by  Governor  Seymour  of  New  York. 

So  long  as  the  administration  of  Governor  E.  D. 
Morgan  lasted  the  Government  received  the  most 
zealous  and  efficient  support  from  the  State  of  New 
York.  It  is  true  that  at  the  close  of  Governor 
Morgan's  term,  the  last  day  of  1862,  the  Adjutant- 
General  reported  the  State  deficient  some  28,000 
men  in  volunteers  under  the  various  calls  of  the 
Government,  18,000  of  which  deficiency  belonged 
to  the  city  of  New  York.     But  in  spite  of  this 

1  Though  the  President  knew  board    that    its     determination 

that  fairness   and  accuracy  pre-  should  be  final  and  conclusive, 

vailed  in  the  demands  made  upon  The  board  went  carefully  over 

the  different  localities  for  their  the  whole  subject,  explained  the 

proportion  of  troops,  he  was  so  mode  of  proceeding  adopted  by 

much  embarrassed  by  complaints  the  Provost  Marshal  General,  and 

that  he  found  it  necessary  at  last  said :  "  The  rule  is  in  conformity 

to  constitute  a  board,  consisting  to  the  requirements  of  the  laws 

of  Attorney-General  Speed,  Gen-  of  Congress  and  is  just  and  equi- 

eral  Delafield,  Chief  of  Engineers,  table;  we  have  carefully  examined 

and    Colonel    Foster,    Assistant  and  proved  the  work  done  under 

Adjutant-General,  to  examine  in-  this  rule  by  the  Provost  Marshal 

to  the  proper  quotas  and  credits,  General,  and  find  it  has  been  done 

and  to  report  errors  if  they  found  with  fairness."    This  report  was 

any  therein,  and  he    announced  formally  approved  by  the  Presi- 

in    the     order    constituting   the  dent. 



chap.  i.  deficiency  there  had  never  been  any  lack  of  cordial 
cooperation  on  the  part  of  the  State  government 
with  that  of  the  nation.  In  the  autumn  of  that 
year,  however,  in  the  period  of  doubt  and  discour- 
agement which  existed  more  or  less  throughout  the 
Union,  General  James  S.  Wadsworth,  the  Eepub- 
lican  candidate  for  governor,  had  been  defeated 
after  a  most  acrimonious  contest  by  Horatio  Sey- 
mour, then,  and  until  his  death,  the  most  honored 
and  prominent  Democratic  politician  of  the  State. 
He  came  into  power  upon  a  platform  denouncing 
almost  every  measure  which  the  Government  had 
found  it  necessary  to  adopt  for  the  suppression  of 
the  rebellion ;  and  upon  his  inauguration,  on  the  first 
day  of  1863,  he  clearly  intimated  that  his  principal 
duty  would  be  "to  maintain  and  defend  the  sov- 
ereignty and  jurisdiction  of  his  State." 

The  President,  anxious  to  work  in  harmony  with 
the  Governors  of  all  the  loyal  States,  and  especially 
desirous  on  public  grounds  to  secure  the  cordial 
cooperation  in  war  matters  of  the  State  administra- 
tion in  New  York,  had  written  to  Mr.  Seymour 
soon  after  his  inauguration  as  governor,  inviting 
his  confidence  and  friendship. 

You  and  I  are  substantially  strangers,  and  I  write 
this  chiefly  that  we  may  become  better  acquainted. 
I,  for  the  time  being,  am  at  the  head  of  a  nation  which  is 
in  great  peril ;  and  you  are  at  the  head  of  the  greatest 
State  of  that  nation.  As  to  maintaining  the  nation's 
life  and  integrity,  I  assume  and  believe  there  cannot  be 
a  difference  of  purpose  between  you  and  me.  If  we 
should  differ  as  to  the  means  it  is  important  that  such 
difference  should  be  as  small  as  possible  ;  that  it  should 
not  be  enhanced  by  unjust  suspicions  on  one  side  or 
the  other.     In  the  performance  of  my  duty  the  cooper- 


ation  of  your  State,  as  that  of  others,  is  needed, — in  fact,  chap.i. 

is  indispensable.     This  alone  is  a  sufficient  reason  why  I  Lincoln 

should  wish  to  be  at  a  good  understanding  with  you.  ^aX™?*' 

Please  write  me  at  least  as  long  a  letter  as  this,  of  course  1863.    ms. 
saying  in  it  just  what  you  think  fit. 

The  Governor  waited  three  weeks,  and  then  made 
a  cold  and  guarded  reply,  retaining  in  this  private 
communication  the  attitude  of  reserve  and  distrust 
he  had  publicly  assumed.    He  said : 

I  have  delayed  answering  your  letter  for  some  days 
with  a  view  of  preparing  a  paper  in  which  I  wished 
to  state  clearly  the  aspect  of  public  affairs  from  the  stand- 
point I  occupy.  I  do  not  claim  any  superior  wisdom,  but 
I  am  confident  the  opinions  I  hold  are  entertained  by  one- 
half  of  the  population  of  the  Northern  States.  I  have 
been  prevented  from  giving  my  views  in  the  manner  I 
intended  by  a  pressure  of  official  duties,  which  at  the 
present  stage  of  the  legislative  session  of  this  State 
confines  me  to  the  executive  chamber  until  each  mid- 

After  the  adjournment,  which  will  soon  take  place,  I 
will  give  you  without  reserve  my  opinions  and  purposes 
with  regard  to  the  condition  of  our  unhappy  country. 
In  the  mean  while  I  assure  you  that  no  political  resent- 
ments, or  no  personal  objects,  will  turn  me  aside  from  the 
pathway  I  have  marked  out  for  myself.   I  intend  to  show 
to  those  charged  with  the  administration  of  public  affairs 
a  due  deference  and  respect,  and  to  yield  them  a  just  and 
generous  support  in  all  measures  they  may  adopt  within     Seymour 
the  scope  of  their  constitutional  powers.     For  the  preser-    toLmcoin, 
vation  of  this  Union  I  am  ready  to  make  any  sacrifice  of    i863.n  ms. 
interest,  passion,  or  prejudice. 

This  closed  the  personal  correspondence  between 
them.  The  Governor  never  wrote  the  promised 
letter;  he  did  not  desire  to  commit  himself  to 
any  friendly  relations  with  the  President.  With 
the  narrowness  of  a  bitterly  prejudiced  mind  he  had 
given  an  interpretation  to  the  President's  cordial 


chap.  i.  overture  as  false  as  it  was  unfavorable.  In  an 
"New-York  article,  published  with  his  sanction  many  years 
Am918'  afterwards,  he  is  represented  as  expressing  his  con- 
viction that  at  the  time  of  this  correspondence 
there  was  a  conspiracy  of  prominent  Republicans 
to  force  Lincoln  out  of  the  White  House ;  that  the 
President  was  aware  of  it,  and  that  this  was  "  the 
cause  of  the  anxiety  which  he  displayed  to  be 
on  intimate  friendly  terms  with  Mr.  Seymour." 
There  could  be  no  intimate  understanding  between 
two  such  men.  Mr.  Lincoln  could  no  more  com- 
prehend the  partisan  bitterness  and  suspicion  which 
lay  at  the  basis  of  Mr.  Seymour's  character  than 
the  latter  could  appreciate  the  motives  which  in- 
duced Lincoln  to  seek  his  cordial  cooperation  in 
public  work  for  the  general  welfare.  He  gave  the 
same  base  interpretation  to  a  complimentary  mes- 
sage which  Stanton  sent  him  in  June,  1863,  thank- 
ing  him  for  the  energy  with  which  he  had  sent 
forward  troops  for  the  defense  of  Pennsylvania; 
and  when,  a  year  later,  Stanton  invited  him  to 
ibid.  Washington  for  a  consultation  he  refused  either 
to  go  or  to  reply  to  the  invitation. 

Thurlow  Weed  is  quoted  as  saying  in  his  later 
years  that  Mr.  Lincoln,  after  Seymour's  election 
and  before  his  inauguration,  authorized  Mr.  Weed 
to  say  to  him  that  holding  his  position  he  could 
wheel  the  Democratic  party  into  line  and  put  down 
the  rebellion ;  and  that  if  he  would  render  this  great 
Bar^s,  service  to  the  country  Mr.  Lincoln  would  cheerfully 
of  ThurTow  make  way  for  him  as  his  successor.    Mr.  Weed  says 

Weed. " 

voi.  il,  he  made  this  suggestion  to  Seymour ;  but  that  the 
latter  preferred  to  administer  his  office  as  an  irrecon- 
cilable and  conscientious  partisan.     It  is  probable 


that  Mr.  Weed,  as  is  customary  with  elderly  men,  chap.l 
exaggerated  the  definiteness  of  the  proposition ;  but 
these  letters  show  how  anxious  Lincoln  was  that 
Seymour  should  give  a  loyal  support  to  the  Gov* 
ernment,  and  in  how  friendly  and  self-effacing  & 
spirit  he  would  have  met  him. 

In  what  must  be  said  in  regard  to  the  contro- 
versy in  which  Governor  Seymour  soon  found  him- 
self engaged  with  the  National  Government,  there 
is  no  question  of  his  personal  integrity  or  his  patri' 
otism.  He  doubtless  considered  that  he  was  only 
doing  his  duty  to  his  State  and  his  party  in  oppos- 
ing almost  every  specific  act  of  the  National  Gov- 
ernment. The  key  to  all  his  actions  in  respect  to 
the  draft  is  to  be  found  in  his  own  words :  "  It  is 
believed,''  he  said,  "by  at  least  one-half  of  the 
people  of  the  loyal  States  that  the  conscription  act 
is  in  itself  a  violation  of  the  supreme  constitutional 
law." *  This  belief  he  heartily  shared,  and  no  moral 
blame  attaches  to  him  for  trying  to  give  it  effect 
in  his  official  action.  His  conduct  led  to  disastrous 

1  The  attacks  upon  the  consti-  Woodward  and  Thompson  con- 
tutionality  of  the  enrollment  act  curring  in  the  decision  that  the 
were  mainly  political.  Several  law  was  unconstitutional ;  Jus- 
attempts  were  made  to  have  it  tices  Strong  and  Read  dissenting, 
declared  invalid  by  the  courts,  This  decision  was  afterwards  re- 
but these  were  generally  unsuc-  versed.  Chief-Justice  Lowrie 
cessful.  In  the  United  States  Cir-  was  a  candidate  for  reelection 
cuit  Courts  of  Pennsylvania  and  and  Justice  Woodward  ran  for 
Elinois  two  important  decisions  governor  the  next  year.  The  main 
were  rendered,  the  one  by  Judge  issue  in  the  canvass  was  this  de- 
Cad  walader  and  the  other  by  cision.  They  were  both  defeated 
Judge  Treat  (Judge  Davis  concur-  by  large  majorities,  A.  G.  Curtin 
ring),  affirming  the  constitution-  being  reelected  Governor,  and 
ality  of  the  law.  Only  one  impor-  Daniel  Agnew  taking  the  place 
tant  decision  in  the  contrary  sense  of  Lowrie  on  the  bench.  The 
was  obtained,  and  that  was  in  the  court,  thus  reconstituted,  re- 
Supreme  Court  of  Pennsylvania,  versed  the  former  decision,  Wood- 
Chief-Justice  Lowrie  and  Justices  ward  and  Thompson  dissenting. 


chap.  i.  results ;  his  views  of  government  were  shown  to  be 
mistaken  and  unsound.  The  nation  went  on  its 
triumphant  way  over  all  the  obstacles  interposed  by 
him  and  those  who  believed  with  him,  and  during 
the  quarter  of  a  century  which  elapsed  before  his 
death  his  chief  concern  was  to  throw  upon  the 
Government  the  blame  of  his  own  factious  pro- 

He  constantly  accused  the  Administration  of  Mr. 
Lincoln  of  an  unfair  and  partisan  execution  of  the 
law,  which  he  regarded  in  itself  as  unconstitu- 
tional. He  assumed  that  because  the  enrollment 
of  the  arms-bearing  population  of  New  York  City, 
which  had  given  a  majority  for  him,  showed  an 
excess  over  the  enrollment  in  the  rural  districts, 
which  had  given  a  large  majority  for  Wads  worth, 
that  the  city  was  to  be  punished  for  being  Demo- 
cratic and  the  country  rewarded  for  being  Eepub- 
lican;  to  which  the  most  natural  reply  was  that 
the  volunteering  had  been  far  more  active  in  the 
Eepublican  districts  than  it  had  been  in  the  Demo- 
cratic. He  attacked  all  the  proceedings  of  the 
provost  marshals.  He  accused  them  of  neglect 
and  contumacy  towards  himself.  All  these  accusa- 
tions were  wholly  unfounded.  General  Fry  was  a 
man  as  nearly  without  politics  as  a  patriotic  Amer- 
ican can  be.  He  came  of  a  distinguished  Demo- 
cratic family,  and  during  a  life  passed  in  the 
military  service  his  only  preoccupation  had  been 
the  punctual  fulfillment  of  every  duty  confided  to 
him.  The  district  provost  marshals  for  the  city  of 
New  York  were  selected  with  especial  care  from 
those  recommended  by  citizens  of  the  highest 
character  in  the  place.     Three    provost  marshal 


generals  were  appointed  for  New  York,  and  great     chap.i. 
pains  were  taken  to  choose  "  those  who  would  be     General 

r  J.  B.  Pry, 

likely  to  secure  the  favor  and  cooperation  of  the  "andth°erk 
authorities  and  the  people  of  New  York."  They  tio£?"??&. 
were  Major  Frederick  Townsend,  Colonel  Rob- 
ert Nugent,  and  Major  A.  S.  Diven.  Nugent 
was  an  Irishman,  a  war  Democrat,  and  Diven 
"an  intimate  acquaintance  and  personal  friend 
of  Governor  Seymour."  Townsend  was  a  well-  dm.,  p.  is. 
known  resident  of  Albany.  They  were  specially 
charged  to  put  themselves  in  communication 
with  the  Governor,  to  acquaint  themselves  with 
his  views  and  wishes,  and  to  give  them  due 
weight  in  determining  the  best  interests  of  the 
Government ;  and  to  endeavor,  by  all  means  in 
their  power,  to  secure  for  the  execution  of  the  en- 
rollment act  the  aid  and  hearty  cooperation  of  the 
Governor,  State  officers,  and  the  people.  A  letter 
was  at  the  same  time  written  to  the  Governor  by 
the  Provost  Marshal  General  commending  these 
officers  to  him  and  asking  for  them  his  coopera- 
tion. A  similar  letter  was  sent  to  the  Mayor  of 
New  York  City. 

The  Government  exhausted  all  its  powers  in  en- 
deavoring to  commend  the  enrollment  to  the  favor- 
able consideration  of  the  civil  officers  of  the  State. 
"But  Governor  Seymour,"  says  General  Fry, 
"  gave  no  assistance ;  in  fact,  so  far  as  the  Govern- 
ment officers  engaged  in  the  enrollment  could  ibid.,P.i8. 
learn,  he  gave  the  subject  no  attention."  Without 
the  aid  or  countenance  of  the  Governor,  in  face  of 
his  quiet  hostility,  the  enrollment  was  carried  for- 
ward as  rapidly  as  possible.  The  work  was  im- 
peded by  numerous  and  important  obstacles ;  the 


chap.  i.  large  floating  population  of  the  city  threw  great 
difficulties  in  its  way ;  opposition  was  encountered 
in  almost  every  house  the  enrolling  officers  en- 
tered. Where  artifice  did  not  succeed  violence 
was  sometimes  attempted.  In  some  places  or- 
ganized bodies  of  men  opposed  the  enrollment,  in 
others  secret  societies  waged  a  furtive  warfare 
against  the  officers.  But  in  spite  of  all  these  draw- 
backs the  enrollment  was  made  with  remarkable 
fairness  and  substantial  success.  It  was  no  more 
imperfect  than  was  inevitable,  and  the  draft  which 
followed  it  was  conducted  in  such  a  manner  as  to 
neutralize  to  a  great  extent  the  irregularities  and 

provost     hardships  that  might  have  resulted  from  the  errors 

Marshal       .,  ,     .        -* 

General,     it  contained. 

The  enrollment    having    been    completed,   the 
orders  for  drafting  in  the  State  of  New  York  were 
1863.       issued  on  the  1st  of  July.    At  that  date  the  draft 
had  been  going  on  for  some  time  in  New  England. 
Colonel  Nugent  was  left  at  liberty,  if  thought  ex- 
pedient, to  execute  the  draft  in  New  York  City  by 
districts,  and  in  one  or  more  at  a  given  time,  rather 
than  all  at  once,  throughout  the  city.    Grovernor 
Seymour  was  notified  in  almost  daily  letters,  from 
the  1st  to  the  13th  of  July,  of  the  drafts  which  had 
been  ordered  in  the  several  districts.    The  Provost 
jCBneF?y,    Marshal  General  begged  him  to  do  all  in  his  power 
'andSe*  to   enable  the  officers    "to   complete   the   drafts 
Mon"»  p.  23.  promptly,  effectually,  fairly,  and  successfully."    He 
paid  no  attention  to  these  requests  further  than  to 
send  his  adjutant-general  to  Washington  on  the 
11th  of  July  for  the  purpose  of  urging  the  sus- 
pension of  the  draft.    But  while  this  officer  was 
away  upon  his  mission  the  evil  passions  excited  in 



the  breasts  of  the  lowest  class  of  Democrats  in     chap.i. 
New  York  City,  by  the  denunciations  of  the  enroll- 
ment act  and  of  the  legally  constituted  authorities    Juiy,i863. 
who  were  endeavoring  to  enforce  it,  broke  out  in  the 
most  terrible  riot  which  this  Western  continent 
has  ever  witnessed. 

The  state  of  popular  distrust  and  excitement 
which  naturally  arose  from  the  discussion  of  the 
enrollment  was  greatly  increased  by  the  vehement 
utterances  of  the  more  violent  Democratic  poli- 
ticians and  newspapers.  Governor  Seymour,  in  a 
speech  delivered  on  the  4th  of  July,  which  was 
filled  with  denunciations  of  the  party  in  power, 
said :  "  The  Democratic  organization  look  upon  this 
Administration  as  hostile  to  their  rights  and  liber- 
ties ;  they  look  upon  their  opponents  as  men  who 
would  do  them  wrong  in  regard  to  their  most  sacred 

The  "  Journal  of  Commerce  "  accused  the  Admin- 
istration of  prolonging  the  war  for  its  own  pur- 
poses, and  added,  "  such  men  are  neither  more  nor 
less  than  murderers."  "The  World,"  denouncing 
"the  weak  and  reckless  men  who  temporarily  admin- 
ister the  Federal  Government,"  attacked  especially 
the  enrollment  bill  as  an  illegal  and  despotic  mea- 
sure. The  "  Daily  News,"  which  reached  a  larger 
number  of  the  masses  of  New  York  than  any  other 
journal,  quoted  Governor  Seymour  as  saying  that 
neither  the  President  nor  Congress,  without  the 
consent  of  the  State  authorities,  had  a  right  to  force 
a  single  individual  against  his  will  "  to  take  part  in 
the  ungodly  conflict  which  is  distracting  the  land." 
It  condemned  the  manner  in  which  the  draft  was 
being  executed  as  "  an  outrage  on  all  decency  and 
Vol.  VIL— 2 


chap.  i.  fairness,"  the  object  of  it  being  to  "  kill  off  Demo- 
crats and  stuff  the  ballot-boxes  with  bogus  soldier 
votes."  Incendiary  hand-bills  in  the  same  sense 
were  distributed  through  the  northern  districts 
of  the  city,  thickly  populated  by  laboring  men  of 
foreign  birth. 

Although  there  had  been  for  several  days  mut- 
terings  of  discontent  in  the  streets,  and  even  threats 
uttered  against  the  enrolling  officers,  these  demon- 
strations had  been  mostly  confined  to  the  drinking 
saloons,  and  no  apprehensions  of  popular  tumult 
were  entertained.  Even  on  Saturday  morning,  the 
1863.  11th  of  July,  when  the  draft  was  to  begin  at  the 
corner  of  43d  street  and  Third  Avenue,  there  was 
no  symptom  of  disturbance.  The  day  passed 
pleasantly  away,  the  draft  was  carried  on  regularly 
and  good-humored] y,  and  at  night  the  Superintend- 
c/ciopl-  ent  of  Police,  as  he  left  the  office,  said,  "  the  Rubicon 
dlp!  8ii63'  was  passed  and  all  would  go  well."  But  the  next 
day,  being  Sunday,  afforded  leisure  for  the  ferment 
of  suspicion  and  anger.  Every  foreigner  who  was 
drafted  became  a  center  of  sympathy  and  excite- 
ment. There  were  secret  meetings  in  many  places 
on  Sunday  night,  and  on  the  next  morning  parties 
of  men  went  from  shop  to  shop,  compelling  work- 
men to  join  them  and  swell  the  processions  which 
were  moving  to  the  above-mentioned  office  of  the 
Enrollment  Board. 

The  Commissioner  proceeded  quietly  with  his 
work;  the  wheel  was  beginning  to  turn;  a  few 
names  were  called  and  recorded ;  when  suddenly  a 
large  paving-stone  came  crashing  through  the  win- 
dow and  landed  upon  the  reporters'  table,  shiver- 
ing the  inkstands,  and  knocking  over  one  or  two 


bystanders ;  and  with  hardly  a  moment's  interval  a     chap.  i. 
volley  of  stones  flew  through  the  windows,  putting    July,  i863. 
a  stop  to  the  proceedings. 

The  crowd,  kindled  into  fury  by  its  own  act, 
speedily  became  a  howling  mob ;  the  rioters  burst 
through  the  doors  and  windows,  smashing  the  fur- 
niture of  the  office  into  splinters,  sprinkled  cam- 
pbene  upon  the  floor,  and  set  the  building  on  fire. 
When  the  Fire  Department  arrived  they  found  the 
mob  in  possession  of  the  hydrants,  and  the  build- 
ing was  soon  reduced  to  ashes.  This  furious  out- 
burst took  the  authorities  completely  by  surprise.1 
The  most  trustworthy  portion  of  the  organized 
militia  had  been  ordered  to  Pennsylvania  to  resist 
the  invasion  of  General  Lee.  There  was  only  a 
handful  of  troops  in  the  harbor,  and  the  mob  hav- 
ing possession  of  the  street  railways  prevented,  for 
a  time,  the  rapid  concentration  of  these,  while  the 
police,  who  were  admirable  in  organization  and 
efficiency,  being  at  the  time  under  Eepublican  con- 
trol,2 were,  of  course,  inadequate  to  deal,  during  the 

1  General  Fry,  in  his  valuable  to  be  assembled  in  New  York  City 
treatise,  u  New  York  and  the  Con-  on  the  mere  assumption  that  a 
seription  of  1863,"  p.  30,  gives  law  of  the  United  States  would 
the  following  as  reasons  why  no  be  violently  and  extensively  re- 
large  military  force  was  assem-  sisted;  and  that  if  it  were  thought 
bled  to  preserve  the  public  peace  best  to  assemble  such  a  force 
in  New  York  :  there  was  none  to  be  had  without 

On  the  occasion  of  the  first  losing  campaigns  then  going  on, 
draft  u  these  questions  were  or  battles  then  impending." 
carefully  weighed  by  the  Presi-  2  Several  years  afterwards  Gov- 
dent  and  the  War  Department,  ernor  Seymour  said:  "The  draft 
The  conclusions  were  that  no  ex-  riots  of  1863  were  put  down 
ception  in  the  application  of  the  mainly  by  the  energy,  boldness, 
law  should  be  made  in  New  York;  and  skill  of  the  Police  Depart- 
that  no  presumption  that  the  ment.  In  saying  this,  I  am 
State  or  city  authorities  would  certainly  not  influenced  by  preju- 
f ail  to  cooperate  with  the  Govern-  dice,  for  the  force  was  politically 
ment  should  be  admitted ;  that  a  and  in  some  degree  personally 
Federal  military  force  ought  not  unfriendly  to  myself." 


chap.  i.  first  hours  of  the  outbreak,  with  an  army  of  excited 
and  ignorant  men,  recruited  in  an  instant  from 
hundreds  of  workshops  and  excited  by  drink  and 
passionate  declamation.  The  agitation  and  disor- 
der spread  so  rapidly  that  the  upper  part  of  the  city 
was  in  a  few  hours  in  full  possession  of  the  mad- 
dened crowd,  the  majority  of  them  filled  with  that 
aimless  thirst  for  destruction  which  rises  so  natu- 
rally in  a  mob  when  the  restraints  of  order  are 
withdrawn.  They  were  led  by  wild  zealots,  excited 
by  political  hates  and  fears,  or  by  common  thieves 
who  found  in  the  tumult  their  opportunity  for 
plunder.  By  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  the 
body  of  rioters  in  the  upper  part  of  the  city  num- 
bered several  thousand.  Their  first  fury  was 
naturally  directed  against  the  enrolling  offices. 
After  the  destruction  of  the  building  in  the  Ninth 
District  they  attacked  the  block  of  stores  in  which 
the  enrolling  office  of  the  Eighth  District  stood.1 
The  adjoining  shops  were  filled  with  jewelry  and 
other  costly  goods,  and  were  speedily  swept  clean 
by  the  thievish  hands  of  the  rioters,  and  then  set 
on  fire ;  here,  as  before,  the  firemen  were  not  per- 
mitted to  play  on  the  flames. 

But  the  political  animus  of  the  mob  was  shown 
most  clearly  by  the  brutal  and  cowardly  outrages 
inflicted  upon  negroes.  They  dashed  with  the 
merriment  of  fiends  on  every  colored  face  they 
saw,  taking  special  delight  in  the  maiming  and 
murdering  of  women  and  children.  Late  in  the 
afternoon  of  the  13th  the  mob  made  a  rush  for 
the  fine  building  of  the  Colored  Orphan  Asylum.2 
This  estimable  charity  was  founded  and  carried  on 

1  Broadway,  near  29th  street.     2  Fifth  Avenue  and  44th  street. 


by  a  society  of  kind-hearted  ladies ;  it  gave  not  chap.i. 
only  shelter  but  instruction  and  Christian  training  Juiy)i863. 
to  several  hundred  colored  orphans.  A  force  of 
policemen  was  hastily  gathered  together,  but  could 
only  defend  the  asylum  for  a  few  minutes,  giving 
time  for  the  inmates  to  escape.  The  police- 
men were  then  disabled  by  the  brutal  mob,  who 
rushed  into  the  building,  stealing  everything  which 
was  portable,  and  then  setting  the  house  on  fire. 
They  burned  the  residences  of  several  Government 
officers,  and  a  large  hotel  which  refused  them  liquor. 
For  three  days  these  horrible  scenes  of  unchained 
fury  and  hatred  lasted.  An  attack  upon  the  "  New 
York  Tribune"  office  was  a  further  evidence  of 
the  political  passion  of  the  mob,  headed  at  this 
point  by  a  lame  secessionist  barber  who  had  just  Trial  of 
before  been  heard  to  express  the  hope  that  he  whittLr, 
"  might  soon  shave  Jeff.  Davis  in  New  York,"  Aif63?2' 
and  who  led  on  the  rioters  with  loud  cheers  for 
General  McClellan ;  but  after  dismantling  the 
counting-room  they  were  attacked  and  driven 
away  by  the  police.  Colonel  H.  T.  O'Brien,  hav- 
ing sprained  his  ankle  while  gallantly  resisting 
the  mob,  stepped  into  a  drug-store  for  assistance 
while  his  detachment  passed  on.  The  druggist, 
fearing  the  rioters,  begged  O'Brien  to  leave  his 
shop,  and  the  brave  soldier  went  out  among  the 
howling  crowd.  In  a  moment  they  were  upon 
him,  and  beat  and  trampled  him  into  uncon- 
sciousness. For  several  hours  the  savages  dragged 
the  still  breathing  body  of  their  own  country- 
man up  and  down  the  streets,  inflicting  every 
indignity  upon  his  helpless  form,  and  then, 
shouting  and  yelling,  conveyed  him  to  his  own 


chap.  i.  door.  There  a  courageous  priest  sought  to  subdue 
their  savagery  by  reading  the  last  offices  for  the 
dying  over  the  unfortunate  colonel ;  the  climax 
of  horror  was  reached  by  the  brutal  ruffians  jost- 
ling the  priest  aside  and  closing  the  ceremonies  by 
dancing  upon  the  corpse.  From  beginning  to  end 
they  showed  little  courage  ;  they  were  composed, 
for  the  greater  part,  of  the  most  degraded  class  of 
foreigners,  and  as  a  rule  they  made  no  stand  when 
attacked  either  by  the  police  or  the  military  in  any 
number.  The  only  exception  to  this  rule  was  in 
the  case  of  a  squad  of  marines  who  foolishly  fired 
into  the  air  when  confronting  the  rioters.  A  com- 
pany of  fifty  regulars  was  able  to  work  its  will 
against  thousands  of  them.  The  city  government, 
the  trusty  and  courageous  police  force,  and  the 
troops  in  the  harbor  at  last  came  into  harmonious 
action,  and  gradually  established  order  throughout 
the  city. 

The  State  government  was  of  little  avail  from 
beginning  to  end  of  the  disturbance.  Governor 
Seymour  having  done  all  he  could  to  embarrass  the 
Government  and  rouse  the  people  against  it,  had 

juiy,  1863.  left  the  city  on  the  11th  and  gone  to  Long  Branch 
in  New  Jersey.  On  the  receipt  of  the  frightful 
news  of  the  13th  he  returned  to  the  city  a  prey  to 
the  most  terrible  agitation.  He  was  hurried  by  his 
friends  to  the  City  Hall,  where  a  great  crowd  soon 
gathered,  and  there,  in  sight  of  the  besieged 
"  Tribune  "  office,  he  made  the  memorable  address, 
the  discredit  of  which  justly  clung  to  him  all  his 
days.  His  terror  and  his  sympathy  with  the  mob, 
in  conflict  with  his  convictions  of  public  duty, 
completely  unmanned    him.      He  addressed  the 


rioters  in  affectionate  tones,  as  his  "  friends,"  and  chap.i. 
assured  them  that  he  had  "  come  to  show  them 
a  test  of  his  friendship."  He  informed  them  that 
he  had  sent  his  adjutant  to  Washington  to  confer 
with  the  authorities  there  and  to  have  the  draft 
suspended.  This  assurance  was  received  with  the 
most  vociferous  cheers.  He  urged  them  to  act  as 
good  citizens,  leaving  their  interests  to  him.  "  Wait 
until  my  adjutant  returns  from  Washington,"  he 
said,  "and  you  shall  be  satisfied."  The  words  in 
this  extraordinary  speech  for  which  the  Grovernor 
was  most  blamed  were  those  in  which  he  addressed 
the  mob  as  his  friends  ;  but  this  was  a  venial  fault, 
pardonable  in  view  of  his  extreme  agitation.  The 
serious  matter  was  his  intimation  that  the  draft 
justified  the  riot,  and  that  if  the  rioters  would  cease 
from  their  violence  the  draft  should  be  stopped.1 

He  issued  two  proclamations  on  the  14th,  one  Ji«y  ise 
mildly  condemning  the  riot  and  calling  upon 
the  persons  engaged  in  it  to  retire  to  their  homes 
and  employments,  and  another,  somewhat  sterner 
in  tone,  declaring  the  city  and  county  of  New 
York  to  be  in  a  state  of  insurrection,  and  warning 
all  who  might  resist  the  State  authorities  of  their 
liability  to  the  penalties  prescribed  by  law.  It  is 
questionable  if  the  rioters  ever  heard  of  the  proc- 
lamations, and,  if  they  did,  the  effect  of  these 

i  "  While  the  riot  was  going  on  no  doubt,   because    he    thought 

he  [Governor  Seymour]  had  an  in-  it    would  allay  the  excitement; 

terview  with  Colonel  Nugent,  the  but    it  was,  under   the    circum- 

acting  Provost  Marshal  General,  stances,  making  a  concession  to 

New  York    City,   and     insisted  the  mob,  and   endangering   the 

on  the    colonel's  announcing    a  successful    enforcement    of  the 

suspension  of    the   draft.      The  law  of  the  land."—  GeneralJames 

draft  had  already  been  stopped  B.  Fry,    "New  York     and    the 

by  violence.    The  announcement  Conscription      of      1863,"     p. 

was    urged    by    the    Governor,  33. 


chap.  i.  official  utterances  was  entirely  nullified  by  the 
Governor's  sympathetic  speeches.  The  riots  came 
to  a  bloody  close  on  the  night  of  Thursday,  the 
fourth  day.  A  small  detachment  of  soldiers1  met 
the  principal  body  of  rioters  in  Third  Avenue  and 
21st  street,  killed  thirteen  and  wounded  eighteen 
more,  taking  some  dozens  of  prisoners.  The  fire 
of  passion  had  burned  itself  out  by  this  time,  and 
the  tired  mob,  now  thoroughly  dominated,  slunk 
away  to  its  hiding  places.  During  that  night  and 
the  next  day  the  militia  were  returning  from  Penn- 
sylvania; several  regiments  of  veterans  arrived 
from  the  Army  of  the  Potomac,  and  the  peace  of 
the  city  was  once  more  secured.  The  rioters  had 
kept  the  city  in  terror  for  four  days  and  had  de- 
stroyed two  millions  of  property.  For  several 
days  afterwards  arrests  went  on,  and  many  of  the 
wounded  law-breakers  died  in  their  retreats  afraid 
to  call  for  assistance. 

There  were  disturbances  more  or  less  serious  in 
other  places,  which  were  speedily  put  down  by  the 
local  authorities,  but,  as  Mr.  Greeley  says :  "  In  no 
single  instance  was  there  a  riot  incited  by  drafting 
wherein  Americans  by  birth  bore  any  considerable 
part,  nor  in  which  the  great  body  of  the  actors 
were  not  born  Europeans,  and  generally  of  recent 
importation."  The  part  taken  by  Archbishop 
Hughes  in  this  occurrence  gave  rise  to  various 
commentaries.  He  placarded  about  the  city  on  the 
1863.  16th  of  July  an  address  "  to  the  men  of  New  York, 
who  are  now  called  in  many  papers  rioters,"  invit- 
ing them  to  come  to  his  house  and  let  him  talk  to 
them,  assuring  them  of  immunity  from  the  police 

1  Of  the  Twelfth  Regulars  under  Captain  H.  R.  Putnam. 


ingoing  and  coming.  "You  who  are  Catholics,"  chap.i. 
the  address  concluded,  "  or  as  many  of  you  as  are, 
have  a  right  to  visit  your  bishop  without  molesta- 
tion." On  the  17th,  at  two  o'clock,  a  crowd  of  four  Jul^1863- 
or  five  thousand  persons  assembled  in  front  of  the 
Archbishop's  residence,1  and  the  venerable  prelate, 
clad  in  his  purple  robes  and  full  canonical  attire, 
appeared  at  the  window  and  made  a  strange 
speech  to  the  mob,  half  jocular  and  half  earnest, 
alternately  pleading,  cajoling,  and  warning  them. 
He  told  them  that  he  "  did  not  see  a  riotous  face 
among  them."  He  did  not  accuse  them  of  having 
done  anything  wrong.  He  said  that  every  man 
had  a  right  to  defend  his  house  or  his  shanty  at 
the  risk  of  his  life ;  that  they  had  no  cause  to  com- 
plain, "as  Irishmen  and  Catholics,"  against  the 
Government,  and  affectionately  suggested  whether 
it  might  not  be  better  for  them  to  retire  to  their 
homes  and  keep  out  of  danger.  He  begged  them 
to  be  quiet  in  the  name  of  Ireland  —  "  Ireland,  that 
never  committed  a  single  act  of  cruelty  until  she 
was  oppressed ;  Ireland,  that  has  been  the  mother 
of  heroes  and  poets,  but  never  the  mother  of  "Annual 
cowards."  The  crowd  greeted  his  speech  with  up-  A1&/& 
roarious  applause  and  quietly  dispersed. 

The  number  of  those  who  lost  their  lives  during 
the  riots  has  never  been  ascertained.  The  mortal- 
ity statistics  for  that  week  and  the  week  succeed- 
ing show  an  increase  of  five  or  six  hundred  over 
the  average.  Governor  Seymour  estimated  the 
number  of  killed  and  wounded  at  one  thousand ; 
others  placed  it  much  higher. 

Naturally,  in  such  days   of  terror  and  anger, 

1  Corner  Madison  Avenue  and  36th  street. 


chap.  i.  there  were  not  wanting  those  who  asserted  that  the 
riots  were  the  result  and  the  manifestation  of  a 
widespread  treasonable  conspiracy  involving  lead- 
ing Democrats  at  the  North.  The  President  re- 
ceived many  letters  to  this  effect,  one  relating  the 
alleged  confession  of  a  well-known  politician  who, 
overcome  with  agitation  and  remorse,  had  in  the 
j.  r.  presence  of  the  editors  of  the  "  Tribune  "  divulged 
to  LinSto,  the  complicity  of  Seymour  and  others  in  the  prep- 
1863.  ms.  aration  of  the  emeute.  But  he  placed  no  reliance 
upon  the  story,  and  there  was  in  fact  no  foundation 
for  it.  With  all  his  desire  to  injure  the  Adminis- 
tration, Governor  Seymour  had  not  the  material  of 
an  insurrectionist  in  his  composition,  and  when 
the  riot  came  his  excitement  and  horror  were  the 
best  proof  that  he  had  not  expected  it. 

The  scenes  of  violence  in  New  York  were  not 
repeated  anywhere  else,  if  we  except  a  disturbance 
at  Boston  which  for  a  time  threatened  to  become 
serious,  but  was  put  down  by  the  prompt  and 
united  action  of  the  civil  and  military  authorities ; 
but  the  ferment  of  opposition  was  so  general  as  to 
give  great  disquietude  to  many  friends  of  the 
Government  throughout  the  country.  Leading 
Unionists  in  Philadelphia,  fearing  a  riot  there, 
besought  the  President  by  mail  and  telegraph 
to  stop  the  draft.  In  Chicago  a  similar  appeal 
was  made,  and  by  recruitment  and  volunteering 
the  necessity  of  a  draft  was  avoided  in  Illinois 
until  the  next  year. 

No  provision  of  the  enrollment  law  excited  such 
ardent  opposition  as  that  which  was  introduced  for 
the  purpose  of  mitigating  its  rigors — the  provision 
exempting  drafted  men  from  service  upon  payment 


of  three  hundred  dollars.  "The  rich  man's  money  chap.i. 
against  the  poor  man's  blood  "  was  a  cry  from  which 
no  demagogue  could  refrain,  and  it  was  this  which 
contributed  most  powerfully  to  rouse  the  unthink- 
ing masses  against  the  draft.  The  money  paid  for 
exemptions  was  used,  under  the  direction  of  the 
Provost  Marshal  General,  for  the  raising  of  recruits 
and  the  payment  of  the  expenses  of  the  draft.  It 
amounted  to  a  very  large  sum  —  to  twenty-six 
millions  of  dollars.  After  all  expenses  were  paid 
there  was  a  remainder  of  nine  millions  left  to  the 
credit  of  that  Bureau  in  the  Treasury  of  the  United 
States.  The  exemption  fund  was  swelled  by  the 
action  of  county  and  municipal  authorities,  espe- 
cially by  those  of  New  York,  who,  in  the  flurry  suc- 
ceeding the  riots,  passed  in  great  haste  an  ordinance 
to  pay  the  commutation  for  drafted  men  of  the 
poorer  class.  A  certain  impetus  was  given  to  vol- 
unteering also,  but  the  money  came  in  faster  than 
the  men ;  and  in  June,  1864,  the  Provost  Marshal 
General  reported  that  out  of  some  14,000  drafted 
men,  7000  were  exempted  for  various  reasons  and 
5000  paid  money  commutation.  This  statement 
was  sent  to  Congress  by  the  President  with  the 
recommendation  that  the  commutation  clause  be  Act 
repealed.  This  was  done  after  a  hot  discussion  juS?™  mm. 
which  exhibited  a  curious  change  of  front  on  the 
question,  Willard  Saulsbury,  William  A.  Richard- 
son, and  other  Democrats  energetically  opposing 
the  repeal  and  making  it  the  occasion  of  as  bitter  «Giobe," 
attacks  on  the  Administration  as  those  which  had  wat?3' 
been  for  a  year  directed  against  the  law. 

It  may  not  be  without  interest  to  look  for  a  mo- 
ment at  the  measures  pursued  by  the  Confederate 


chap.  i.  authorities  to  raise  and  maintain  their  army.  There 
is  a  striking  contrast  between  methods  and  results 
on  either  side  of  the  line.  The  methods  of  the 
Confederates  were  far  more  prompt  and  more  rigor- 
ous than  those  of  the  National  Government,  while 
the  results  attained  were  so  much  less  satisfactory 
that  their  failure  in  this  respect  brought  about  the 
final  catastrophe  of  their  enterprise.  They  began 
the  war  with  forces  greatly  superior  in  numbers  to 
those  of  the  Union.  Before  the  attack  on  Fort 
Sumter  their  Congress  had  authorized  the  raising  of 
an  army  of  100,000  men,  and  Mr.  Davis  had  called 
into  service  36,900  men,  more  than  twice  the  army 
of  the  United  States  ;  and  immediately  after  begin- 
ning hostilities  he  called  for  32,000  more.  On  the 
8th  of  May  the  Confederate  Congress  gave  Mr. 
Davis  almost  unlimited  power  to  accept  the  services 
of  volunteers  without  regard  to  place  of  enlistment, 
and  a  few  days  later  he  was  relieved  by  statute  of 
the  delays  and  limitations  of  formal  calls,  and  all 
power  of  appointment  to  commissions  was  placed 
in  his  hands.  So  that,  while  from  the  beginning 
to  the  end  the  most  punctilious  respect  was  paid 
by  the  National  Executive  and  Legislature  to  the 
rights  of  the  loyal  States  in  the  matter  of  recruit- 
ment, the  States  which  had  seceded  on  the  pretext 
of  preserving  their  autonomy  speedily  gave  them- 
selves into  the  hands  of  a  military  dictator. 

In  December,  1861,  the  term  of  enlistment  was 
changed  from  one  to  three  years,  the  pitiful  bounty 
of  fifty  dollars  being  given  as  compensation.  Dur- 
ing all  that  winter  recruiting  languished,  and 
several  statutes,  continually  increasing  in  severity, 
were  passed  with  little  effect ;  and  on  the  16th  of 


April,  1862,  the  Confederate  Congress  passed  a  chap.i. 
sweeping  measure  of  universal  conscription,  author- 
izing the  President  to  call  and  place  in  the  military 
service  for  three  years,  unless  the  war  should  end 
sooner,  "  all  white  men  who  are  residents  of  the 
Confederate  States,  between  the  ages  of  18  and  35 
years,"  not  legally  exempt  from  service  ;  and  arbi- 
trarily lengthening  to  three  years  the  terms  of  those 
already  enlisted.  A  law  so  stringent  was  of  course 
impossible  of  perfect  execution.  Under  the  clamor 
and  panic  of  their  constituencies  the  Confederate 
Congress  passed,  repealed,  and  modified  various 
schemes  of  exemption  intended  to  permit  the 
ordinary  routine  of  civil  life  to  pursue  its  course, 
but  great  confusion  and  heart-burnings  arose  from 
every  effort  which  was  made  to  ease  the  workings 
of  the  inexorable  machine.  The  question  of  over- 
seers of  plantations  was  one  especially  difficult  to 
treat.  The  law  of  the  11th  of  October,  1862,  ex- 
empted one  man  for  every  plantation  of  twenty 
negroes.  This  system  was  further  extended  from 
time  to  time,  but  owners  of  slaves  were  obliged  to 
pay  five  hundred  dollars  a  year  for  each  exemption. 
By  one  statute  it  was  provided  that,  on  plantations 
where  these  exemptions  were  granted,  the  exempt 
should  pay  two  hundred  pounds  of  meat  for  every 
able-bodied  slave  on  the  plantation.  Gradually  all 
exemptions  as  of  right  were  legislated  away,  and 
the  whole  subject  was  left  to  the  discretion  of  the 
Executive,  which  vastly  increased  his  power  and  his 
unpopularity.  It  finally  rested  upon  him  to  say 
how  many  editors,  ministers,  railroad  engineers  and 
expressmen  were  absolutely  required  to  keep  up 
the  current  of  life  in  the  business  of  the  country. 



Chap.  I. 

"  Personal 

Memoirs  of 

U.  S. 


Vol.  II. 

p.  426. 

of  Col.  John 


printed  in 

tbe  final 


of  the 




of  the 



p.  122. 

The  limit  of  age  was  constantly  extended.  In 
September,  1862,  an  act  of  the  Confederate  Con- 
gress authorized  the  President  to  call  into  service 
all  white  men  resident  in  the  Confederate  States, 
between  the  ages  of  18  and  45 ;  and  in  February, 
1864,  another  law  included  all  between  17  and  50, 
which  gave  occasion  to  Grant  for  his  celebrated 
mot  —  afterwards  credited  by  him  to  General  Butler 
—  that  the  Confederates  were  "  robbing  both  the 
cradle  and  the  grave"  to  fill  their  armies. 

Severe  and  drastic  as  were  these  laws,  and  unre- 
lenting as  was  the  insurrectionary  Government  in 
their  execution,  they  were  not  carried  out  with  any- 
thing like  the  system  and  thoroughness  which 
characterized  the  action  of  the  National  authorities. 
The  Confederate  generals  were  constantly  com- 
plaining that  they  got  no  recruits,  or  not  enough  to 
supply  the  waste  of  campaigns.  On  the  30th  of 
April,  1864,  the  chief  of  the  bureau  of  conscription 
at  Richmond  made  a  report  to  the  Secretary  of 
War,  painting  in  the  darkest  colors  the  difficulties 
encountered  by  him  in  getting  soldiers  into  the 
ranks,  though  he  had  all  the  laws  and  regulations 
he  needed  and  there  were  men  enough  in  the 
country.  He  said, — and  in  these  words  confessed 
that  the  system  had  failed  and  that  the  defeat  of 
the  revolt  was  now  but  a  question  of  time, —  "  The 
results  indicate  this  grave  consideration  for  the 
Government,  that  fresh  material  for  the  armies  can 
no  longer  be  estimated  as  an  element  of  future 
calculation  for  their  increase,  and  that  necessity 
demands  the  invention  of  devices  for  keeping  in 
the  ranks  the  men  now  borne  on  the  rolls.  The 
stern  revocation  of  all  details,  an  appeal  to  the 


patriotism  of  the  States  claiming  large  numbers  of  chap.i. 
able-bodied  men,  and  the  accretions  by  age,  are 
now  almost  the  only  unexhausted  sources  of  sup- 
ply. For  conscription  from  the  general  popula- 
tion the  functions  of  this  bureau  may  cease  with 
the  termination  of  the  year  1864." 



chap,  ii.  f^\  OVERNOR  SEYMOUR  was  too  thorough  a 
VJT  partisan  to  undergo  any  change  of  opinion  in 
consequence  of  the  riotous  scenes  which  had  so 
shaken  his  own  nerves  and  so  frightfully  disturbed 
the  peace  of  New  York.  On  the  contrary,  he  was 
only  the  more  convinced  of  the  illegality  and  im- 
policy of  the  draft,  and  at  once  dispatched  Samuel 
J.  Tilden  and  other  prominent  citizens  to  Washing- 
ton to  urge  the  President  to  suspend  it.  He  sup- 
plemented these  personal  solicitations  by  repeated 
telegrams  asking  that  the  draft  be  suspended  until 
the  President  should  receive  a  letter  which  he  was 
4eBwYork  preparing.  In  this  letter,  which  was  dated  the  3d 
auconhe  of  August,  the  Governor  denounced  the  enrollment 
p.  34.  '  and  draft  as  a  "  harsh  "  and  "  unfortunate  "  mea- 
sure. He  claimed  that  injustice  was  done  in  assign- 
ing the  quotas ;  that  they  were  not  in  proportion 
to  the  relative  population  of  the  several  districts ; 
and  urged,  with  the  greatest  earnestness  and  per- 
sistence, that  the  draft  should  be  suspended  in  the 
State  of  New  York  until  measures  should  be  taken 
by  the  courts  to  ascertain  its  constitutionality,  a 
point  which  the  Governor  had  already  decided  for 
himself.  He  said  in  this  letter  that  "  it  is  believed  by 




at  least  one-half  of  the  people  of  the  loyal  States  that 
the  conscription  act  ...  is  in  itself  a  violation  of 
the  supreme  constitutional  law  " ;  and  in  a  tone  of 
sullen  menace  he  warned  the  President  against  per- 
sisting in  the  enforcement  of  the  law.  "  I  do  not 
dwell,"  he  said,  "  upon  what  I  believe  would  be  the 
consequence  of  a  violent,  harsh  policy,  before  the 
constitutionality  of  the  act  is  tested.  You  can  scan 
the  immediate  future  as  well  as  I."  He  then  de- 
manded that  the  enrolling  officers  should  submit 
their  lists  to  the  State  authorities  and  that  an  oppor- 
tunity should  be  given  him,  as  Governor,  to  test  the 
fairness  of  the  proceedings.  He  left  entirely  out  of 
view  in  this  letter  the  fact  that  he  had  been  re- 
peatedly invited  and  urged  to  cooperate  with  the 
enrolling  officers,  and  thereby  insure  the  fairness 
of  their  action. 

The  tone  of  this  letter  was  not  calculated  to 
inspire  the  President  with  confidence  in  the  good- 
will or  the  candor  of  Governor  Seymour.  But 
although  he  recognized  in  the  Governor's  attitude 
that  of  a  determined  political  opponent,  he  chose 
in  replying  to  take  his  adversary's  good  faith  for 
granted,  and  throughout  the  entire  correspondence 
which  ensued  the  courtesy  as  well  as  the  fairness 
of  the  President  is  noticeable.  After  acknowledg- 
ing the  receipt  of  Seymour's  letter,  the  President 
said,  "  I  cannot  consent  to  suspend  the  draft  in  New 
York  as  you  request,  because,  among  other  reasons, 
time  is  too  important."  He  accepted  the  figures  of 
the  Governor  as  proving  the  disparity  of  the  quotas 
in  relation  to  the  population ;  "  much  of  it,  how- 
ever," he  said,  "  I  suppose  will  be  accounted  for  by 
the  fact  that  so  many  more  persons  fit  for  soldiers 
Vol.  VII.— 3 

Chap.  II. 

J.  B.  Fry, 
"New  York 
and  the 
p.  34. 

Ibid.,  p.  35. 

Lincoln  to 


Aug.  7, 1863. 



chap.  ii.  are  in  the  city  than  are  in  the  country,  who  have 
too  recently  arrived  from  other  parts  of  the  United 
States  and  from  Europe  to  be  either  included  in 
the  census  of  1860  or  to  have  voted  in  1862."  Still 
he  did  not  insist  upon  this  natural  explanation  of 
the  disparity,  but  conceded  the  Governor's  claim 
without  further  discussion,  reducing  the  quota, 
where  it  seemed  by  the  Governor's  showing  to  be 
excessive,  to  the  average  of  the  districts  not  com- 
plained of.  He  then  said  he  should  direct  the  draft 
to  proceed  in  all  the  districts,  ordering  a  reenroll- 
ment  in  those  whose  quota  had  been  reduced.  He 
also  promised  that  the  Governor  should  be  informed 
of  the  time  fixed  for  commencing  the  draft  in  each 
district.     He  continued : 

I  do  not  object  to  abide  a  decision  of  the  United 
States  Supreme  Court,  or  of  the  judges  thereof,  on  the 
constitutionality  of  the  draft  law;  in  fact,  I  should  be 
willing  to  facilitate  the  obtaining  of  it,  but  I  cannot  con- 
sent to  lose  the  time  while  it  is  being  obtained.  We  are 
contending  with  an  enemy  who,  as  I  understand,  drives 
every  able-bodied  man  he  can  reach  into  his  ranks,  very 
much  as  a  butcher  drives  bullocks  into  a  slaughter-pen. 
No  time  is  wasted,  no  argument  is  used.  This  produces 
an  army  which  will  soon  turn  upon  our  now  victorious 
soldiers,  already  in  the  field,  if  they  shall  not  be  sustained 
by  recruits  as  they  should  be.  It  produces  an  army  with 
a  rapidity  not  to  be  matched  on  our  side,  if  we  first 
waste  time  to  reexperiment  with  the  volunteer  system, 
already  deemed  by  Congress,  and  palpably,  in  fact,  so 
far  exhausted  as  to  be  inadequate,  and  then  more  time  to 
obtain  a  court  decision  as  to  whether  a  law  is  constitu- 
tional which  requires  a  part  of  those  not  now  in  the  ser- 
vice to  go  to  the  aid  of  those  who  are  already  in  it,  and 
still  more  time  to  determine  with  absolute  certainty  that 
we  get  those  who  are  to  go  in  the  precisely  legal  propor- 
tion to  those  who  are  not  to  go.    My  purpose  is  to  be  in 


my  action  just  and  constitutional  and  yet  practical,  in  chap.  n. 
performing  the  important  duty  with  which  I  am  charged,  Lincoln  to 
of  maintaining  the  unity  and  the  free  principles  of  our  Au6/™°i863. 

Common  Country.  Autograph 

But  the  Governor  was  not  in  a  frame  of  mind  to 
accept  this  fair  and  practical  treatment  of  the  sub- 
ject.   Even  while  the  President  was  writing,  the 
Governor  was  sending  him  notice  of  a  still  more 
elaborate  and  partisan  statement  which  had  been 
prepared  by  his  judge-advocate  general  accusing       Fry> 
the  enrolling  officers  of  "shameless  frauds,"  which,  "and  tnerk 
he  said,  "  will  bring  disgrace  not  only  upon  your   8Cr§tion," 
Administration  but  upon  the  American  name";       p' 
and  on  the  following  day,  having  received  the 
President's  letter  of  the  7th,  Governor  Seymour 
wrote    again,  regretting  the  President's  decision, 
urging  anew  the    advantages   of  the  system    of 
volunteering  over  the  draft  and  calling  attention 
to  what  he  termed  the  "  partisan  character  of  the 
enrollment."    He   claimed  that   in   nineteen    Re-  ibid.,  p.  39. 
publican    districts    the    quotas   were    too    small, 
and  that  in  nine  Democratic  districts  they  were 
too  large.     "You  cannot  and  will  not  fail,"  he 
said,  "  to  right  these  gross  wrongs."  Ibid- 

In  spite  of  these  insulting  charges  the  President 
did  not  lose  his  equanimity  and  good  temper.  He 
did  not  even  suggest,  as  General  Fry  does,  "  that 
the  war  had  then  been  going  on  about  two  years 
and  its  early  demands  had  skimmed  off  the  cream 
of  the  nation's  loyalty,  and  very  naturally  most 
men  would  be  found  remaining  in  those  districts 
which  were  most  unfriendly  to  the  war  or  the 
manner  in  which  the  Government  conducted  it."  ioia. 
He  answered  with  patient  courtesy,  on   the  11th 



Chap.  II. 

Lincoln  to 
Aug.  11, 




"  Memoirs 

of  John  A. 


Vol.  II., 

p.  77. 

August  3. 

Ibid.,  p.  78. 

of  August,  saying  to  the  Governor  that,  in  view 
of  the  length  of  his  first  statement  and  the  time 
and  care  which  had  been  taken  in  its  prepara- 
tion, he  did  not  doubt  that  it  contained  the  Gov- 
ernor's entire  case  as  he  desired  to  present  it.  He 
had  answered  it,  therefore,  supposing  that  he  was 
meeting  Governor  Seymour's  full  demand,  laying 
down  the  principle  to  which  he  proposed  adhering, 
which  was  "  to  proceed  with  the  draft,  at  the  same 
time  employing  infallible  means  to  avoid  any  great 
wrongs."  He  therefore  arbitrarily  reduced  the 
quotas  of  several  additional  districts  to  the  mini- 
mum heretofore  adopted. 

Although  his  demands  were  thus  substantially 
conceded,  nothing  could  mitigate  Governor  Sey- 
mour's hostility  to  the  execution  of  the  law.  Gen- 
eral Dix,  who  had  been  appointed  to  the  command 
of  the  Department  of  the  East,  with  headquarters 
in  New  York  City,  had  asked  the  Governor,  as  early 
as  the  30th  of  July,  whether  the  military  power  of 
the  State  might  be  relied  on  to  enforce  the  execu- 
tion of  the  law  in  the  case  of  forcible  resistance  to 
it.  He  was  anxious,  he  said,  for  perfect  harmony 
of  action  between  the  Federal  and  State  govern- 
ments, and  if  he  could  feel  assured  that  the  Gov- 
ernor would  see  to  the  faithful  enforcement  of  the 
law  he  would  not  ask  the  War  Department  to  put 
United  States  troops  at  his  disposal  for  that  pur- 
pose. Four  days  later  he  received  a  reply  from  the 
Governor  saying  that  he  believed  the  President 
would  take  such  action  as  to  relieve  both  of  them 
"from  the  painful  questions  growing  out  of  an 
armed  enforcement   of  the  conscription  law." 

The  general   answered  in   a   letter  giving   ex- 


pression  to  his  disappointment  at  the  tone  of  the  chap.  ii. 
Governor's  letter ;  and  receiving  no  further  com-  Aug.  8,  i863, 
munication  from  him,  he  applied  to  the  Secretary 
of  War  on  August  14th  for  a  force  adequate  to 
maintain  public  peace.  This  call  was  promptly 
answered,  and  troops  sufficient  to  preserve  public 
order  against  any  attack  were  sent  him.  After 
the  call  had  been  made  the  Governor  informed  Aug.  15. 
him  that,  as  there  could  be  no  violations  of  good 
order  which  were  not  infractions  of  the  laws  of 
the  State,  these  laws  would  be  enforced  under 
all  circumstances,  and  that  he  should  take  care 
that  all  the  executive  officers  of  the  State  should 
perform  their  duties  vigorously  and  thoroughly, 
and  that,  if  need  be,  the  military  power  would 
be  called  into  requisition ;  and  on  the  18th  of 
August  he  issued  a  proclamation  saying  that  lses. 
while  he  believed  it  would  have  been  a  wise  and 
humane  policy  to  procure  a  judicial  decision,  with 
regard  to  the  constitutionality  of  the  Conscription 
Act,  at  an  earlier  day  and  by  a  summary  process, 
that  the  failure  to  do  this  in  no  degree  justified  any 
violent  opposition  to  the  act  of  Congress.  He 
warned  all  citizens  of  the  State  to  abstain  from 
riotous  proceedings  and  to  rely  on  the  courts  for 
redress  of  their  wrongs. 

It  was  probably  due  to  the  energetic  action  of 
the  Government,  the  presence  of  ten  thousand  vet- 
eran troops  from  the  Army  of  the  Potomac,  and 
the  recollection  left  on  the  minds  of  the  turbulent 
classes  by  the  clubs  of  the  policemen  a  month  be- 
fore, rather  than  to  the  half-hearted  proclamation 
of  the  Governor,  that  when  the  draft  was  resumed 
on  the  19th  of  August  no  resistance  was  offered. 



Chap.  II. 


of  the 


General  of 

New  York, 

Dec.  31, 






Aug.  24, 


Governor  Seymour,  however,  continued  an  active 
campaign  by  mail  and  telegraph  against  the  pro- 
ceeding, protesting  at  every  stage  that  the  appor- 
tionments were  unfair ;  that  the  demands  upon 
New  York  were  excessive,  and  the  credits  allowed 
the  State  and  city  inadequate.  The  enormous 
bounties  which  had  been  paid  by  towns  and 
counties  proved  an  irresistible  temptation  to  dis- 
honest men.  Almost  every  criminal  out  of  the 
penitentiary  betook  himself  to  the  comparatively 
safe  and  lucrative  business  of  bounty-jumping. 
The  anxiety  for  recruits  was  great,  and  it  was  al- 
most impossible  to  counteract  the  ingenuity  and 
duplicity  of  bounty-brokers  in  working  rascals  into 
the  service.  The  discipline  of  the  recruiting  officers 
was  lax;  desertion  speedily  followed  enlistment, 
and  the  same  nimble  rogue  might  figure,  under  dif- 
ferent names,  in  the  credits  claimed  from  a  dozen 
districts.  This  rascality  especially  flourished  in  the 
crowded  wards  of  the  city  of  New  York.  So  fast 
as  enlistments  were  reported,  however  informally, 
from  any  district,  Governor  Seymour  wanted  a  cor- 
responding reduction  of  the  quotas,  and  he  also 
demanded  that  every  New  Yorker  enlisted  in  an- 
other State  should  be  credited  to  his  own.  This 
last  demand  was  so  patently  unreasonable  that  the 
President  refused  it,  after  consulting  the  Judge 
Advocate  General  of  the  army. 

With  all  reasonable  demands  for  credits,  he  tried 
his  best  to  comply.  On  the  16th  of  August  he 
sent  the  following  dispatch  to  Governor  Seymour : 

Your  dispatch  of  this  morning  is  just  received,  and  I 
fear  I  do  not  perfectly  understand  it.  My  view  of  the 
principle  is  that  every  soldier  obtained  voluntarily  leaves 



one  less  to  be  obtained  by  draft.  The  only  difficulty  is 
in  applying  the  principle  properly.  Looking  to  time,  as 
heretofore,  I  am  unwilling  to  give  up  a  drafted  man  now, 
even  for  the  certainty,  much  less  for  the  mere  chance,  of 
getting  a  volunteer  hereafter.  Again,  after  the  draft  in  any 
district,  would  it  not  make  trouble  to  take  any  drafted  man 
out  and  put  a  volunteer  in,  for  how  shall  it  be  determined 
which  drafted  man  is  to  have  the  privilege  of  thus  going 
out,  to  the  exclusion  of  all  the  others  ?  And  even  before  the 
draft  in  any  district  the  quota  must  be  fixed;  and  the 
draft  might  be  postponed  indefinitely  if  every  time  a  vol- 
unteer is  offered  the  officers  must  stop  and  reconstruct 
the  quota.  At  least  I  fear  there  might  be  this  difficulty ; 
but,  at  all  events,  let  credits  for  volunteers  be  given  up  to 
the  last  moment  which  will  not  produce  confusion  or  de- 
lay. That  the  principle  of  giving  credits  for  volunteers 
shall  be  applied  by  districts  seems  fair  and  proper,  though 
I  do  not  know  how  far  by  present  statistics  it  is  practi- 
cable. When  for  any  cause  a  fair  credit  is  not  given  at 
one  time,  it  should  be  given  as  soon  thereafter  as  practi- 
cable. My  purpose  is  to  be  just  and  fair,  and  yet  to  not 
lose  time. 

Chap.  II. 

Lincoln  to 


Aug.  16, 

1863.    MS. 

During  the  entire  summer  and  autumn  Governor 
Seymour  and  his  friends  made  the  proceedings  of 
the  Government,  in  relation  to  the  enrollment  law, 
the  object  of  special  and  vehement  attack.  On  the 
17th  of  October  the  President  made  a  call  for 
300,000  volunteers,  and  at  the  same  time  ordered 
that  the  draft  should  be  made  for  all  deficiencies 
which  might  exist  on  the  5th  of  January  following, 
on  the  quotas  assigned  to  districts  by  the  War  De- 
partment. Shortly  after  this  the  Democratic  State 
Committee  issued  a  circular  making  the  military 
administration  of  the  Government,  and  especially 
the  law  calling  for  troops,  the  object  of  violent 
attack,  greatly  exaggerating  the  demands  of  the 
Government,  claiming  that  no  credits  would  be 

"New  York 
and  the 
p.  49. 



Chap.  II. 


Oct.  31, 
1863.    MS. 

allowed  for  those  who  had  paid  commutation,  and 
basing  these  charges  upon  a  pretended  proclama- 
tion of  the  27th  of  October  which  had  never  been 
issued.  The  President,  with  the  painstaking  care 
which  distinguished  him,  prepared  with  his  own 
hand  the  following  contradiction  of  this  misleading 
circular : 

The  Provost  Marshal  General  has  issued  no  proclama- 
tion at  all.  He  has,  in  no  form,  announced  anything  re- 
cently in  regard  to  troops  in  New  York,  except  in  his 
letter  to  Governor  Seymour  of  October  21,  which  has 
been  published  in  the  newspapers  of  that  State.  It  has 
not  been  announced  nor  decided  in  any  form  by  the 
Provost  Marshal  General,  or  any  one  else  in  authority  of 
the  Government,  that  every  citizen  who  has  paid  his  three 
hundred  dollars  commutation  is  liable  to  be  immediately 
drafted  again,  or  that  towns  that  have  just  raised  the 
money  to  pay  their  quotas  will  have  again  to  be  subject 
to  similar  taxation  or  suffer  the  operations  of  the  new  con- 
scription, nor  is  it  probable  that  the  like  of  them  ever  will 
be  announced  or  decided. 

The  circular  we  have  referred  to  went  on  claim- 
ing that  the  State  had  been  thoroughly  canvassed, 
and  that  the  victory  of  the  Democratic  ticket  was 
assured.  But  the  result  showed  that  the  Demo- 
cratic leaders  were  as  far  wrong  in  their  prophecy 
as  in  their  history.  The  Republican  State  ticket 
was  elected  by  a  majority  of  thirty  thousand  over 
the  Democratic,  and  the  principal  State  of  the  Union 
decided  the  vehement  controversy,  which  had  raged 
all  the  year  between  Seymour  and  Lincoln,  in  favor 
of  the  President  —  a  verdict  which  was  repeated  in 
the  following  year  when  Governor  Seymour  was 
himself  a  candidate  for  reelection. 

In  the  early  part  of  December  the  President, 
anxious  in  every  way  to  do  justice  and  to  satisfy, 


if  possible,  the  claims  of  Governor  Seymour,  con-  chap.ii. 
sented  to  the  appointment  of  a  commission  to 
inquire  into  the  whole  subject  of  the  enrollment  in 
New  York.  The  principal  member  of  the  commis- 
sion, chosen  by  Governor  Seymour,  was  Wm.  F. 
Allen  of  New  York,  his  intimate  friend  and  an 
ardent  Democrat  in  politics ;  of  the  other  mem- 
bers, General  John  Love  of  Indiana  was  also 
a  Democrat;  Chauncey  Smith  of  Massachusetts 
was  a  lawyer,  not  prominently  identified  with 
either  political  party.  Judge  Allen  clearly  dom- 
inated the  commission,  and  they  agreed  with 
him  in  condemning  the  principle  on  which  the 
enrollment  and  draft  were  conducted.  They  re- 
ported that,  instead  of  numbering  the  men  of  a 
given  district  capable  of  bearing  arms  and  making 
that  number  the  basis  of  the  draft, —  which  was  the 
course  the  enrolling  officers,  in  direct  obedience 
to  the  law  of  Congress,  had  pursued, —  the  quota 
should  be  adjusted  upon  the  basis  of  proportion  to 
the  entire  population.  They  did  not  indorse  the 
injurious  attacks  made  by  the  Governor  upon  the 
enrolling  officers  and  agents,  but  distinctly  stated 
that  their  fidelity  and  integrity  was  unimpeached. 
The  essential  point  of  their  report  was  simply  that 
the  quota  should  be  in  proportion  to  the  total  popu- 
lation of  the  district,  and  not  according  to  the 
number  of  valid  men  to  be  found  in  it.  When 
the  President  required  from  the  Provost  Marshal 
General  his  opinion  upon  the  report,  General  Fry 
made  this  reasonable  criticism: 

The  commission  has  evidently  been  absorbed  by  the 
conviction  that  the  raising  of  men  is,  and  will  necessarily 
continue  to  be,  equivalent  to  levying  special  taxes  and 


chap.  ii.     raising  money,  and  they  would  therefore  require  the  same 

proceeds,  under  the  enrollment  act,  from  a  district  of  rich 

women  which  they  would  from  a  district  with  the  same 

number  of  men  of  equal  means.     I  assume  that  we  are 

looking  for  personal  military  service  from  those  able  to 

Fry,        perform  it,  that  we  make  no  calls  for  volunteers  in  the 

"  and  therk  sense  in  which  the  commission  understands  it,  but  that  we 

sorStion"    ass^n  to  the   districts   under  the   enrollment  act  fair 

p.  52.  '     quotas  of  the  men  we  have  found  them  to  contain. 

The  President  entirely  agreed  with  the  Provost 
Marshal  General  that  it  was  manifestly  unjust  to 
require  from  a  district,  whose  young  men  had  been 
depleted  by  the  patriotic  impulse  which  filled  the 
army  at  the  beginning  of  the  war,  as  many  drafted 
men  as  were  justly  called  for  from  those  who  had 
contributed  nothing  to  the  field,  a  course  which 
would  have  been  the  logical  result  of  yielding  to 
the  demands  of  Governor  Seymour  and  the  rec- 
ommendation of  the  commission.  But,  wishing  to 
make  all  possible  concessions  to  the  State  author- 
ise*, ities,  he  resolved,  once  more,  to  reduce  the  quota 
of  New  York,  and  explained  his  action  in  a  letter 
to  the  Secretary  of  War  dated  February  27,  1864 : 

In  the  correspondence  between  the  Governor  of  New 
York  and  myself  last  summer,  I  understood  him  to  com- 
plain that  the  enrollments  in  several  of  the  districts  of 
that  State  had  been  neither  accurately  nor  honestly  made; 
and  in  view  of  this,  I,  for  the  draft  then  immediately  en- 
suing, ordered  an  arbitrary  reduction  of  the  quotas  in 
several  of  the  districts  wherein  they  seemed  too  large, 
and  said :  "  After  this  drawing,  these  four  districts,  and 
also  the  seventeenth  and  twenty-ninth,  shall  be  carefully 
reenrolled,  and,  if  you  please,  agents  of  yours  may  witness 
every  step  of  the  process."  In  a  subsequent  letter  I 
believe  some  additional  districts  were  put  into  the  list  of 
those  to  be  reenrolled.  My  idea  was  to  do  the  work  over 
according  to   the  law,  in  presence  of  the  complaining 



party,  and  thereby  to  correct  anything  which  might  be 
found  amiss.  The  commission,  whose  work  I  am  consid- 
ering, seem  to  have  proceeded  upon  a  totally  different 
idea.  Not  going  forth  to  find  men  at  all,  they  have  pro- 
ceeded altogether  upon  paper  examinations  and  mental 
processes.  One  of  their  conclusions,  as  I  understand,  is 
that,  as  the  law  stands,  and  attempting  to  follow  it,  the 
enrolling  officers  could  not  have  made  the  enrollments 
much  more  accurately  than  they  did.  The  report,  on  this 
point,  might  be  useful  to  Congress.  The  commission 
conclude  that  the  quotas  for  the  draft  should  be  based 
upon  entire  population,  and  they  proceed  upon  this  basis 
to  give  a  table  for  the  State  of  New  York,  in  which  some 
districts  are  reduced  and  some  increased.  For  the  now 
ensuing  draft,  let  the  quotas  stand,  as  made  by  the  enroll- 
ing officers,  in  the  districts  wherein  this  table  requires 
them  to  be  increased ;  and  let  them  be  reduced  accord- 
ing to  the  table  in  the  others :  this  to  be  no  precedent 
for  subsequent  action ;  but,  as  I  think  this  report  may, 
on  full  consideration,  be  shown  to  have  much  that  is 
valuable  in  it,  I  suggest  that  such  consideration  be  given 
it,  and  that  it  be  especially  considered  whether  its  sug- 
gestions can  be  conformed  to  without  an  alteration  of  the 

So  long  as  Governor  Seymour  remained  in  of- 
fice he  continued  his  warfare  upon  the  enrollment 
act  and  the  officers  charged  with  its  execution. 

On  the  18th  of  July,  1864,  the  President  made  a 
third  call  for  troops  under  the  act,  and  the  Gov- 
ernor promptly  renewed  his  charges  and  com- 
plaints. At  this  time,  however,  both  he  and  Mr. 
Lincoln  were  candidates  before  the  people,  the  one 
for  the  Presidency  and  the  other  for  the  governor- 
ship of  New  York,  and  it  was  probably  for  this 
reason  that  Mr.  Seymour's  correspondence  was 
carried  on,  at  this  time,  with  the  Secretary  of  War 
instead  of  Mr.  Lincoln.  But  it  afforded  no  new 
features ;  there  were  the  same  complaints  of  exces- 


Lincoln  to 
in  Fry, 
"New  York 
and  the 
pp.  56,  W*. 


chap.  ii.  sive  quotas,  of  unfair,  unequal,  and  oppressive  ac- 
tion, as  before.  He  said  again  that  there  had  been 
1864.  no  opportunity  given  to  correct  the  enrollment, 
upon  which  the  Provost  Marshal  General  reported 
that  the  Governor  had  been  duly  informed  of  the 
opportunities  to  make  corrections,  and  that  an 
order  had  been  issued  from  his  own  headquarters 
in  reference  to  the  matter.    No  efforts  were  spared 

"N^York  by  the  Government  to  insure  a  rigid  revision  of 
aiconhe     the  lists.    The  Governor  spoke  with  great  vehe- 

8Crp?590n'"  mence  of  the  disparity  between  the  demands  made 
upon  New  York  and  Boston,  saying  that  in  one  of 
the  cities  26  per  cent,  of  the  population  was  en- 
rolled, and  in  the  other  only  12J  per  cent. 

General  Fry  replied  to  this  that  the  proportion  of 
enrollment  to  population  in  Boston  was  not  12£ 
but  16.92  per  cent. ;  that  less  than  17  per  cent,  in 
New  York  and  Brooklyn  were  enrolled,  and  that, 
in  fine,  the  enrollment  was  "a  mere  question  of 
fact ";  it  was  the  ascertainment  of  a  number  of  men 
of  a  certain  description  in  defined  areas ;  that  the 
enrollments  were  continuously  open  to  revision, 
and  that  any  name  erroneously  on  them  would  be 
stricken  off  as  soon  as  the  error  was  pointed  out  to 
the  Board  of  Enrollment  by  anybody.  He  then 
showed  that  the  quotas  throughout  New  York 
were  in  fact  smaller  than  in  many  other  States 
where  the  proportion  of  men  was  large,  and  closed 
his  report  by  saying  that  he  saw  "  no  reason  why 
the  law  should  not  be  applied  to  New  York  as  well  as 

i  bid.,  P.  eo.   to  the  other  States."    This  report  Mr.  Stanton  trans- 

Ai!s4.u'     mitted  to  the  Governor,  expressing  the  somewhat 

sanguine  trust  that  it  would  satisfy  him  that  his 

objections  against  the  quotas  assigned  to  New  York 




were  not  well  founded.  He  recalled  the  fact  that  a  chap.  n. 
commission  was  appointed  the  previous  year  with 
a  view  to  ascertain  whether  any  mistake  or  errors 
had  been  made  by  the  enrolling  officers,  but  that 
the  commissioners  bore  their  testimony  to  the 
fidelity  with  which  the  work  was  done ;  that  with 
a  view  to  harmony  the  President  had  directed  a 
reduction  in  some  districts,  but  without  the  increase 
of  others  recommended  by  the  commissioners;  and 
that  a  basis  for  the  assignment  being  now  absolutely 
fixed  by  act  of  Congress,  the  War  Department 
had  no  power  to  change  it.  In  reply  to  Governor 
Seymour's  demand  for  the  appointment  of  another 
commission,  the  Secretary  declined  it  on  these 
grounds : 

First.  Because  there  is  "  no  fault  found  "  by  you  with 
the  enrolling  officers,  nor  any  mistake,  fraud,  or  neglect 
on  their  part  alleged  by  you,  requiring  investigation  by 
a  commission.  Second.  The  errors  of  the  enrollment,  if 
there  be  any,  can  readily  be  corrected  by  the  Board 
of  Enrollment  established  by  law  for  the  correction  of 
the  enrollment.  Third.  The  commission  would  not  have, 
nor  has  the  Secretary  of  War,  or  the  President,  power 
to  change  the  basis  of  the  draft  prescribed  by  the  act  of 
Congress.  Fourth.  The  commission  would  operate  to 
postpone  the  draft,  and  perhaps  fatally  delay  strength- 
ening the  armies  now  in  the  field,  thus  aiding  the  enemy 
and  endangering  the  National  Government. 


"New  York 

and  the 


p.  61. 

The  voters  of  New  York  in  the  autumn  election 
decided  to  retire  Governor  Seymour  to  private  life, 
and  his  successor,  Governor  Eeuben  E.  Fenton, 
gave  to  the  Government,  during  the  rest  of  the 
war,  a  hearty  and  loyal  support. 

The  Provost  Marshal  General,  in  his  final  report 
of  March  17, 1866,  presents  some  important  consid- 

Nov.,  1864. 


chap.  ii.  erations  concerning  the  conscription.  They  are 
substantially  as  follows  :  The  conscription  was  not 
presented  as  a  popular  measure,  but  as  one  of 
absolute  necessity;  it  was  difficult  to  convince 
the  drafted  man,  whose  family  depended  on  him 
for  support,  that  a  law  was  wise  which  forced  him 
to  enter  the  military  service,  or  that  the  Board  of 
Enrollment  had  not  done  injustice  in  refusing  to 
exempt  him.  The  opponents  of  the  measure  were 
prompt  to  render  pretended  sympathy  and  encour- 
age opposition  by  misrepresenting  facts,  magnify- 
ing real  cases  of  hardship,  or  creating  imaginary 
grievances  where  real  ones  were  wanting.  The 
action  of  civil  courts  was  invoked,  and  the  officers 
enforcing  the  law  were  subjected  to  harassing  litiga- 
tion, and  in  many  instances  fines  were  imposed  upon 
them  for  acts  done  in  their  official  capacity  pursuant 
to  the  orders  of  superior  and  competent  authority. 
Notwithstanding  these  difficulties,  the  duty  was 
satisfactorily  discharged.  When  the  bureau  was 
organized  the  strength  of  the  army  was  deemed 
insufficient  for  offensive  operations.  The  inade- 
quacy of  the  system  of  recruiting  previously  pur- 
sued had  been  demonstrated.  A  new  system  was 
therefore  inaugurated  by  the  General  Government, 
assuming  the  business  which  had  previously  been 
transacted  mainly  by  the  State  governments.  The 
functionaries  provided  by  the  enrollment  law  were 
made  United  States  recruiting  officers.  Springing 
directly  from  the  people,  and  at  the  same  time  ex- 
ercising the  authority  and  representing  the  neces- 
sities and  wishes  of  the  Government,  they  reached 
the  masses,  and  were  able,  without  abating  the  re- 
quirements of  the  conscription,  to  promote  volun- 


teering,  and  to  forward  recruits  as  fast  as  they  chap.ii 
could  be  obtained.  The  quotas  of  districts  were 
made  known;  each  locality  was  advised  of  the 
number  it  was  required  to  furnish,  and  that  in 
event  of  failure  the  draft  would  follow.  The  result 
was  that  1,120,621  men  were  raised,  at  an  average 
cost  (on  account  of  recruitment  exclusive  of  boun- 
ties) of  $9.84  per  man,  while  the  cost  of  recruiting 
the  1,356,593  raised  prior  to  the  organization  of  the 
bureau  was  $34.01  per  man.  In  addition  to  the 
duties  of  recruitment,  the  law  required  the  Prov- 
ost Marshal  to  arrest  deserters  wherever  they  might 
be  found,  and  76,526  were  arrested  and  returned  to 
the  ranks. 

The  Provost  Marshal  General  compared,  for  the 
purpose  of  great  wars,  the  system  of  recruitment 
by  volunteer  enlistments  stimulated  by  bounties, 
with  the  system  of  compulsory  service  through  en- 
rollment of  the  national  forces  by  the  direct  action 
of  the  General  Government  and  their  draft  if  volun- 
teering failed.  He  said  that  a  plan  of  recruitment 
based  upon  the  bounty  system  will  necessarily  be 
more  expensive  than  any  other,  and,  as  a  rule,  pro- 
duce soldiers  of  an  inferior  class;  and,  although 
bounty  is  unquestionably  calculated  to  stimulate 
recruiting,  it  does  not  always  accomplish  that 
object  at  the  proper  time.  For  when  it  is  visible, 
as  it  was  during  the  late  war,  that  in  the  anxiety  to 
obtain  recruits  the  bounties  offered  constantly  in- 
creased, the  men  who  intend  to  enlist  at  one  time 
or  another  are  induced  to  hold  back  with  the  hope 
at  a  later  day  of  receiving  higher  compensation  and 
having  to  serve  for  a  shorter  period.  In  time  of 
peace,  enough  recruits  to  meet  the  requirements  of 

48  ABKAHAM    LINCOLN  the  service  can  usually  be  procured  without  the  aid 
of  bounty,  and  in  time  of  war  the  country  can  least 
afford  the  cost,  besides  needing  the  service  of  better 
men  than  those  who  enter  the  army  simply  from 
mercenary  motives.  The  Provost  Marshal  General 
regarded  the  enrollment  act  of  1863  and  its  amend- 
ments, with  some  slight  improvements  which  he 
suggested,  as  establishing  a  military  system  ade- 
quate to  any  emergency  which  the  country  is  ever 
likely  to  encounter.  Under  the  wise  and  patient 
guidance  of  President  Lincoln  the  delicate  duties 
of  this  bureau,  novel  to  our  country,  and  possessed 
of  almost  unlimited  powers,  were  successfully  per- 
formed, the  rights  of  citizens  duly  considered,  and 
personal  liberty  always  respected.  The  careful 
attention  which  the  President  himself  gave  to  the 
complicated  and  vexatious  business  of  enrollment 
and  draft  is  indicated  by  the  report  of  a  committee 
appointed  by  the  Legislature  of  Rhode  Island  to 
confer  with  him  concerning  the  quota  of  that  State. 
The  committee  said : 

The  President  at  this  point  interrupted  the  committee 
to  say  that  complaints  from  several  States  had  already 
been  made  to  the  same  effect,  and  in  one  instance  the  sub- 
ject had  been  so  earnestly  pressed  upon  his  attention 
that  he  had  personally  taken  the  pains  to  examine  for 
himself  the  formula  which  the  Provost  Marshal  General 
had  adopted  for  the  calculation  and  distribution  of  the 
quota  for  the  different  States,  and  had  arrived  at  the  con- 
clusion that  it  was  impossible  for  any  candid  mind  to 
doubt  or  question  its  entire  fairness.  The  President  fur- 
ther stated  that  the  plan  that  had  been  adopted  by  the 
Provost  Marshal  General  for  the  assignment  of  the  re- 
spective quotas  met  his  entire  approval,  and  appeared 
to  him  to  be  the  only  one  by  which  exact  justice  could 
be  secured. 



While  the  controversy  between  the  Government  chap.ii. 
and  its  opponents  in  regard  to  the  enrollment  and 
the  draft  was  going  on,  the  President,  disappointed 
and  grieved  at  the  persistent  misrepresentations  of 
his  views  and  his  intentions  by  those  of  whom  he 
thought  better  things  were  to  be  expected,  feeling 
that  he  was  unable,  by  the  power  of  logic  or  per- 
suasion, to  induce  the  leaders  of  the  Democratic 
party  to  do  him  justice,  or  to  cooperate  with  him  in 
the  measures  which  he  was  convinced  were  for  the 
public  good,  thought  for  a  time  of  appealing  directly 
to  the  people  of  the  United  States  in  defense  of  the 
conduct  of  the  Government.  He  prepared  a  long 
and  elaborate  address,  which  he  intended  most 
especially  for  the  consideration  of  the  honest  and 
patriotic  Democrats  of  the  North,  setting  forth, 
with  his  inimitable  clearness  of  statement,  the  ne- 
cessity of  the  draft,  the  substantial  fairness  of  its 
provisions,  and  the  honesty  and  the  equity  with 
which,  as  he  claimed,  the  Government  had  at- 
tempted to  carry  it  out.  But,  after  he  had  finished 
it,  doubts  arose  in  his  mind  as  to  the  propriety  or 
expediency  of  addressing  the  public  directly  in  that 
manner,  and  it  was  never  published.  It  is  for  the 
first  time  printed  in  this  work,  and  from  Mr.  Lin- 
coln's own  manuscript;  and  it  is  a  question  whether 
the  reader  will  more  admire  the  lucidity  and  the 
fairness  with  which  the  President  sets  forth  his 
views,  or  the  reserve  and  abnegation  with  which, 
after  writing  it,  he  resolved  to  suppress  so  admi- 
rable a  paper: 

"  It  is  at  all  times  proper  that  misunderstanding 
between  the  public  and  the  public  servant  should 
Vol.  VIL— 4 


chap. ii.  be  avoided;  and  this  is  far  more  important  now 
than  in  times  of  peace  and  tranquillity.  I  there- 
fore address  yon  without  searching  for  a  precedent 
upon  which  to  do  so.  Some  of  you  are  sincerely 
devoted  to  the  republican  institutions  and  terri- 
torial integrity  of  our  country,  and  yet  are  opposed 
to  what  is  called  the  draft,  or  conscription. 

"At  the  beginning  of  the  war,  and  ever  since, 
a  variety  of  motives,  pressing,  some  in  one  direc- 
tion and  some  in  the  other,  would  be  presented  to 
the  mind  of  each  man  physically  fit  for  a  soldier, 
upon  the  combined  effect  of  which  motives  he 
would,  or  would  not,  voluntarily  enter  the  service. 
Among  these  motives  would  be  patriotism,  political 
bias,  ambition,  personal  courage,  love  of  adven- 
ture, want  of  employment,  and  convenience,  or  the 
opposite  of  some  of  these.  We  already  have,  and 
have  had  in  the  service,  as  appears,  substantially 
all  that  can  be  obtained  upon  this  voluntary  weigh- 
ing of  motives.  And  yet  we  must  somehow  obtain 
more,  or  relinquish  the  original  object  of  the  con- 
test, together  with  all  the  blood  and  treasure 
already  expended  in  the  effort  to  secure  it.  To 
meet  this  necessity  the  law  for  the  draft  has  been 
enacted.  You  who  do  not  wish  to  be  soldiers  do 
not  like  this  law.  This  is  natural ;  nor  does  it  im- 
ply want  of  patriotism.  Nothing  can  be  so  just 
and  necessary  as  to  make  us  like  it  if  it  is  disagree- 
able to  us.  We  are  prone,  too,  to  find  false  argu- 
ments with  which  to  excuse  ourselves  for  opposing 
such  disagreeable  things.  In  this  case,  those  who 
desire  the  rebellion  to  succeed,  and  others  who  seek 
reward  in  a  different  way,  are  very  active  in  ac- 
commodating  us  with    this  class  of   arguments. 


They  tell  us  the  law  is  unconstitutional.  It  is  the  chap.ii. 
first  instance,  I  believe,  in  which  the  power  of  Con- 
gress to  do  a  thing  has  ever  been  questioned  in  a 
case  when  the  power  is  given  by  the  Constitution 
in  express  terms.  Whether  a  power  can  be  implied 
when  it  is  not  expressed  has  often  been  the  subject 
of  controversy  ;  but  this  is  the  first  case  in  which 
the  degree  of  effrontery  has  been  ventured  upon, 
of  denying  a  power  which  is  plainly  and  distinctly 
written  down  in  the  Constitution.  The  Constitu- 
tion declares  that  i  The  Congress  shall  have  power 
...  to  raise  and  support  armies ;  but  no  appro- 
priation of  money  to  that  use  shall  be  for  a  longer 
term  than  two  years.'  The  whole  scope  of  the  con- 
scription act  is  'to  raise  and  support  armies.' 
There  is  nothing  else  in  it.  It  makes  no  appropria- 
tion of  money,  and  hence  the  money  clause  just 
quoted  is  not  touched  by  it. 

"  The  case  simply  is,  the  Constitution  provides 
that  the  Congress  shall  have  power  to  raise  and 
support  armies  ;  and  by  this  act  the  Congress  has 
exercised  the  power  to  raise  and  support  armies. 
This  is  the  whole  of  it.  It  is  a  law  made  in  literal 
pursuance  of  this  part  of  the  United  States  Con- 
stitution ;  and  another  part  of  the  same  Constitu- 
tion declares  that  6  this  Constitution,  and  the  laws 
made  in  pursuance  thereof,  .  .  .  shall  be  the  su- 
preme law  of  the  land,  and  the  judges  in  every 
State  shall  be  bound  thereby,  anything  in  the  Con- 
stitution or  laws  of  any  State  to  the  contrary  not- 
withstanding.' Do  you  admit  that  the  power  is 
given  to  raise  and  support  armies,  and  yet  insist 
that  by  this  act  Congress  has  not  exercised  the 
power  in  a  constitutional  mode  ?  —  has  not  done 


chap.  ii.  the  thing  in  the  right  way  1  Who  is  to  judge  of 
this  ?  The  Constitution  gives  Congress  the  power, 
but  it  does  not  prescribe  the  mode,  or  expressly 
declare  who  shall  prescribe  it.  In  such  case 
Congress  must  prescribe  the  mode,  or  relinquish 
the  power.  There  is  no  alternative.  Congress 
could  not  exercise  the  power  to  do  the  thing  if  it 
had  not  the  power  of  providing  a  way  to  do  it, 
when  no  way  is  provided  by  the  Constitution  for 
doing  it.  In  fact,  Congress  would  not  have  the 
power  to  raise  and  support  armies,  if  even  by  the 
Constitution  it  were  left  to  the  option  of  any  other, 
or  others,  to  give  or  withhold  the  only  mode  of 
doing  it.  If  the  Constitution  had  prescribed  a 
mode,  Congress  could  and  must  fcUow  that  mode ; 
but,  as  it  is,  the  mode  necessarily  goes  to  Congress, 
with  the  power  expressly  given.  The  power  is 
given  fully,  completely,  unconditionally.  It  is  not 
a  power  to  raise  armies  if  State  authorities  con- 
sent; nor  if  the  men  to  compose  the  armies  are 
entirely  willing ;  but  it  is  a  power  to  raise  and  sup- 
port armies  given  to  Congress  by  the  Constitution, 
without  an  if. 

"  It  is  clear  that  a  constitutional  law  may  not  be 
expedient  or  proper.  Such  would  be  a  law  to  raise 
armies  when  no  armies  were  needed.  But  this  is 
not  such.  The  republican  institutions  and  terri- 
torial integrity  of  our  country  cannot  be  main- 
tained without  the  further  raising  and  supporting 
of  armies.  There  can  be  no  army  without  men. 
Men  can  be  had  only  voluntarily  or  involuntarily. 
We  have  ceased  to  obtain  them  voluntarily,  and 
to  obtain  them  involuntarily  is  the  draft  —  the 
conscription.    If  you  dispute  the  fact,  and  declare 


that  men  can  still  be  had  voluntarily  in  sufficient  chap.  ii. 
numbers,  prove  the  assertion  by  yourselves  volun- 
teering in  such  numbers,  and  I  shall  gladly  give  up 
the  draft.  Or  if  not  a  sufficient  number,  but  any 
one  of  you  will  volunteer,  he  for  his  single  self  will 
escape  all  the  horrors  of  the  draft,  and  will  thereby 
do  only  what  each  one  of  at  least  a  million  of  his 
manly  brethren  have  already  done.  Their  toil  and 
blood  have  been  given  as  much  for  you  as  for 
themselves.  Shall  it  all  be  lost  rather  than  that 
you,  too,  will  bear  your  part  ? 

"  I  do  not  say  that  all  who  would  avoid  serving 
in  the  war  are  unpatriotic ;  but  I  do  think  every 
patriot  should  willingly  take  his  chance  under  a 
law,  made  with  great  care,  in  order  to  secure  entire 
fairness.  This  law  was  considered,  discussed, 
modified,  and  amended  by  Congress  at  great 
length,  and  with  much  labor ;  and  was  finally 
passed,  by  both  branches,  with  a  near  approach  to 
unanimity.  At  last,  it  may  not  be  exactly  such  as 
any  one  man  out  of  Congress,  or  even  in  Congress, 
would  have  made  it.  It  has  been  said,  and  I  believe 
truly,  that  the  Constitution  itself  is  not  altogether 
such  as  any  one  of  its  f ramers  would  have  preferred. 
It  was  the  joint  work  of  all,  and  certainly  the  better 
that  it  was  so. 

"  Much  complaint  is  made  of  that  provision  of 
the  conscription  law  which  allows  a  drafted  man  to 
substitute  three  hundred  dollars  for  himself ;  while, 
as  I  believe,  none  is  made  of  that  provision  which 
allows  him  to  substitute  another  man  for  himself. 
Nor  is  the  three  hundred  dollar  provision  objected 
to  for  unconstitutionality ;  but  for  inequality,  for 
favoring  the  rich  against  the  poor.    The  substitu- 


chap.  ii.  tion  of  men  is  the  provision,  if  any,  which  favors 
the  rich  to  the  exclusion  of  the  poor.  But  this 
being  a  provision  in  accordance  with  an  old  and 
well-known  practice,  in  the  raising  of  armies,  is  not 
ob j  ected  to.  There  would  h  ave  been  great  ob j  ection 
if  that  provision  had  been  omitted.  And  yet  being 
in,  the  money  provision  really  modifies  the  in- 
equality which  the  other  introduces.  It  allows 
men  to  escape  the  service  who  are  too  poor  to  es- 
cape but  for  it.  Without  the  money  provision, 
competition  among  the  more  wealthy  might,  and 
probably  would,  raise  the  price  of  substitutes  above 
three  hundred  dollars,  thus  leaving  the  man  who 
could  raise  only  three  hundred  dollars  no  escape 
from  personal  service.  True,  by  the  law  as  it  is, 
the  man  who  cannot  raise  so  much  as  three  hundred 
dollars,  nor  obtain  a  personal  substitute  for  less, 
cannot  escape;  but  he  can  come  quite  as  near 
escaping  as  he  could  if  the  money  provision  were 
not  in  the  law.  To  put  it  another  way:  is  an 
unobjectionable  law  which  allows  only  the  man  to 
escape  who  can  pay  a  thousand  dollars  made  ob- 
jectionable by  adding  a  provision  that  any  one 
may  escape  who  can  pay  the  smaller  sum  of  three 
hundred  dollars  f  This  is  the  exact  difference  at 
this  point  between  the  present  law  and  all  former 
draft  laws.  It  is  true  that  by  this  law  a  somewhat 
larger  number  will  escape  than  could  under  a  law 
allowing  personal  substitutes  only ;  but  each  ad- 
ditional man  thus  escaping  will  be  a  poorer  man 
than  could  have  escaped  by  the  law  in  the  other 
form.  The  money  provision  enlarges  the  class  of 
exempts  from  actual  service  simply  by  admitting 
poorer  men  into  it.     How  then  can  the  money 


provision  be  a  wrong  to  the  poor  man  ?  The  in-  chap.  ii. 
equality  complained  of  pertains  in  greater  degree 
to  the  substitution  of  men,  and  is  really  modified 
and  lessened  by  the  money  provision.  The  in- 
equality could  only  be  perfectly  cured  by  sweeping 
both  provisions  away.  This,  being  a  great  innova- 
tion, would  probably  leave  the  law  more  distasteful 
than  it  now  is. 

"  The  principle  of  the  draft,  which  simply  is  in- 
voluntary or  enforced  service,  is  not  new.  It  has 
been  practiced  in  all  ages  of  the  world.  It  was 
well  known  to  the  framers  of  our  Constitution  as 
one  of  the  modes  of  raising  armies,  at  the  time  they 
placed  in  that  instrument  the  provision  that  '  the 
Congress  shall  have  power  to  raise  and  support 
armies.'  It  had  been  used  just  before,  in  establish- 
ing our  independence,  and  it  was  also  used  under 
the  Constitution  in  1812.  Wherein  is  the  peculiar 
hardship  now?  Shall  we  shrink  from  the  neces- 
sary means  to  maintain  our  free  government,  which 
our  grandfathers  employed  to  establish  it  and  our 
own  fathers  have  already  employed  once  to  main- 
tain it?  Are  we  degenerate?  Has  the  manhood 
of  our  race  run  out  ? 

"  Again,  a  law  may  be  both  constitutional  and 
expedient,  and  yet  may  be  administered  in  an  un- 
just and  unfair  way.  This  law  belongs  to  a  class, 
which  class  is  composed  of  those  laws  whose  object 
is  to  distribute  burthens  or  benefits  on  the  principle 
of  equality.  No  one  of  these  laws  can  ever  be 
practically  administered  with  that  exactness  which 
can  be  conceived  of  in  the  mind.  A  tax  law,  the 
principle  of  which  is  that  each  owner  shall  pay  in 
proportion  to  the  value  of  his  property,  will  be  a 


chap.  ii.  dead  letter,  if  no  one  can  be  compelled  to  pay  until 
it  can  be  shown  that  every  other  one  will  pay  in 
precisely  the  same  proportion,  according  to  value ; 
nay,  even  it  will  be  a  dead  letter,  if  no  one  can  be 
compelled  to  pay  until  it  is  certain  that  every  other 
one  will  pay  at  all  —  even  in  unequal  proportion. 
Again,  the  United  States  House  of  Representatives 
is  constituted  on  the  principle  that  each  member  is 
sent  by  the  same  number  of  people  that  each  other 
one  is  sent  by ;  and  yet,  in  practice,  no  two  of  the 
whole  number,  much  less  the  whole  number,  are 
ever  sent  by  precisely  the  same  number  of  constit- 
uents. The  districts  cannot  be  made  precisely 
equal  in  population  at  first,  and  if  they  could,  they 
would  become  unequal  in  a  single  day,  and  much 
more  so  in  the  ten  years  which  the  districts,  once 
made,  are  to  continue.  They  cannot  be  remodeled 
every  day;  nor,  without  too  much  expense  and 
labor,  even  every  year. 

"  This  sort  of  difficulty  applies  in  full  force  to  the 
practical  administration  of  the  draft  law.  In  fact, 
the  difficulty  is  greater  in  the  case  of  the  draft  law. 
First,  it  starts  with  all  the  inequality  of  the  Con- 
gressional districts ;  but  these  are  based  on  entire 
population,  while  the  draft  is  based  upon  those  only 
who  are  fit  for  soldiers,  and  such  may  not  bear  the 
same  proportion  to  the  whole  in  one  district  that 
they  do  in  another.  Again,  the  facts  must  be  ascer- 
tained, and  credit  given,  for  the  unequal  numbers 
of  soldiers  which  have  already  gone  from  the  sev- 
eral districts.  In  all  these  points  errors  will  occur 
in  spite  of  the  utmost  fidelity.  The  Government  is 
bound  to  administer  the  law  with  such  an  approach 
to  exactness  as  is  usual  in  analogous  cases,  and  as 


entire  good  faith  and  fidelity  will  reach.  If  so  great  chap.  ii. 
departures  as  to  be  inconsistent  with  such  good 
faith  and  fidelity,  or  great  departures  occurring  in 
any  way,  be  pointed  out  they  shall  be  corrected ; 
and  any  agent  shown  to  have  caused  such  departures 
intentionally  shall  be  dismissed. 

"With  these  views,  and  on  these  principles,  I     Lincolnt 
feel  bound  to  tell  you  it  is  my  purpose  to  see  the  ^dS^ 
draft  law  faithfully  executed."  Autograph 



chap,  iil  f  1 1HE  blockade  of  the  Atlantic  coast  was  main- 
JL  tained  with  energy  and  efficiency  ;  many  cap- 
tures were  made,  and  its  execution  was  at  all  times 
so  strict  that  no  vessel  could  enter  the  Confederate 
harbors  without  imminent  risk  of  capture  or  de- 
struction —  a  condition  of  things  which  is  generally 
accepted  as  the  standard  of  efficiency  in  a  blockade. 
Fast-sailing  steamers,  however,  did  often  succeed 
in  entering  blockaded  ports,  and  in  going  out 
with  cargoes  of  cotton,  and  the  profits  upon  each 
trip  were  so  enormous  that  the  traffic  continued 
throughout  the  war ;  the  gains  of  success  forming 
a  sufficient  insurance  against  probable  losses. 
The  Confederate  Government  stoutly  protested  to 
foreign  governments  against  the  recognition  of  the 
blockade,  continually  asserting  that  it  was  inef- 
ficient, and  putting  forth  extraordinary  efforts  to 
break  it. 
ai86331'  The  most  remarkable  of  these  efforts  was  made 
by  two  Confederate  ironclads  in  the  harbor  of 
Charleston,  and  was  supplemented  later  in  the 
same  day  by  a  proclamation  of  the  Confederate 
commanders  in  that  city;  and  it  is  hard  to  say 
which  demonstration  was  the  more  audacious.    The 



weather  was  most  favorable  to  the  sortie ;  a  thick  chap.  m. 
haze  covered  the  glassy  sea  and  added  to  the  ob- 
scurity of  the  wintry  morning.  Two  of  the  strong-  Jim}' 
est  of  the  blockading  vessels  were  absent,  for  the 
moment,  taking  in  coal  at  Port  Royal.  Only  one 
vessel  of  any  strength,  the  Hous atonic,  remained  off 
the  harbor,  with  the  Ottawa  and  Unadilla,  and  seven 
other  purchased  vessels  which  were  no  better  fitted 
than  North  Eiver  steamboats  to  cope  with  iron- 
clads. At  four  o'clock  in  the  morning  the  Confed- 
erate ram  Palmetto  State  (followed  by  the  Chicora) 
all  at  once  loomed  through  the  haze,  almost  touch- 
ing the  Mercedita,  which  was  instantly  disabled  by 
the  first  shot  from  the  ram,  and  an  officer  was  too 
promptly  sent  on  board  the  Confederate,  who  gave 
an  irregular  parole  and  returned  to  his  vessel. 
The  Keystone  State  was  attacked  by  the  CMcora, 
and  received  considerable  injury;  finding  his 
ship  helpless,  her  commander  lowered  his  colors, 
but  the  CMcora  still  continuing  to  fire,  he  thought 
better  of  it,  hoisted  them  again,  and,  with  the  as- 
sistance of  the  Memphis,  resumed  the  fight.  By 
this  time  the  Housatonic  had  got  under  way,  and, 
steering  in  as  near  as  soundings  would  permit, 
opened  fire  on  the  rams  and  soon  drove  them  back 
to  the  protection  of  the  forts.  The  Mercedita 
patched  up  her  injuries  and  steamed,  without  as- 
sistance, for  Port  Eoyal,  whither  the  Keystone 
State  was  also  sent  for  repairs  ;  so  that  before  ten 
o'clock  in  the  morning  the  incident  was  closed 
and  the  blockade  was  reestablished. 

The  rams  had  made  a  bold  and,  on  the  whole,  not 
unsuccessful  raid.  But  the  performance  of  General 
Beauregard  and  Commodore  Ingraham,  command- 


chap.  in.  ing  respectively  the  military  and  naval  forces  in 
South  Carolina,  was  still  more  daring,  and  their 
1863.  raid  upon  paper  left  entirely  out  of  sight  that  of  the 
Palmetto  State  and  the  Chicora  on  the  still  waters  of 
the  harbor.  These  enthusiastic  officers  trumpeted 
to  the  world  the  following  proclamation  :  "At  about 
five  o'clock  this  morning  the  Confederate  States 
naval  force  on  this  station  attacked  the  United 
States  blockading  fleet  off  the  harbor  of  the  city  of 
Charleston,  and  sunk,  dispersed,  or  drove  off  and 
out  of  sight,  for  the  time,  the  entire  hostile  fleet. 
Therefore,  we,  the  undersigned  commanders,  re- 
spectively, of  the  Confederate  States  naval  and  land 
forces  in  this  quarter,  do  hereby  formally  declare 

^XSd    tne  blockade  by  the  United  States  of  the  said  city 

pSama-  °f  Charleston,  South  Carolina,  to  be  raised  by  a 
w.°r.      superior  force  of  the  Confederate  States  from  and 

Vop.'  Sv"  after  this  31st  day  of  January,  A.  D.  1863."  This 
swelling  manifesto  was  based,  not  upon  any  pos- 
sible facts,  but  upon  diligent  reading  of  works  of 
international  law.  General  Beauregard  knew  that 
a  blockade  did  not  become  ineffective  through  the 
momentary  and  accidental  dispersion  of  the  block- 
ading fleet,  but  only  through  the  action  of  a  supe- 
rior hostile  force,  and  he  made  his  proclamation  to 
fit  the  law  rather  than  the  facts.  The  Charleston 
papers  stated,  in  addition  to  this  official  utterance, 
that  the  French  and  Spanish  consuls,  at  the  invi- 
tation of  General  Beauregard,  had  gone  out  in  a 
Confederate  steamer,  and  that  the  British  consul, 
with  the  commander  of  the  British  war-steamer 
Petrel,  had  sailed  five  miles  beyond  the  usual 
anchorage  of  the  blockaders,  and  that  no  signs  of 
the  Federal  force  were  visible  ;  that  the  foreign 


consuls  had  held  a  meeting,  and  were  unanimously   chap.  hi. 
of  the  opinion  that  the  blockade  was  legally  raised.       i863. 

There  was  a  good  deal  of  loose  and  exaggerated 
statement  on  both  sides  during  the  war;  but  it 
may  be  questioned  if  anything  else  so  false  or  so 
reckless  as  this  proceeded  from  any  source,  from  the 
beginning  to  the  end  of  hostilities.  No  vessels 
were  sunk,  none  were  set  on  fire  seriously;  only 
the  Mercedita  and  the  Keystone  State  were  injured, 
and  their  injuries  were  soon  repaired.  The  engage- 
ment was  so  soon  at  an  end  that  many  of  the  ves- 
sels of  the  fleet  knew  nothing  of  it  until  all  was 
over.  The  Housatonic  was  never  beyond  the  usual 
line  of  blockade.  No  attempt  was  made  to  run  the 
blockade  that  day.  Five  officers  of  the  highest 
character  commanding  vessels  nearest  to  the  action 
testified  that  no  vessels  came  out  from  Charleston 
to  make  the  pretended  inspection  set  forth  in  the 
Confederate  accounts ;  and  yet  this  statement, 
founded  only  upon  the  fact  that  the  rams  went  out 
and  had  a  skirmish  and  were  driven  back,  was  her- 
alded to  the  world  and  accepted  by  every  one  who 
sympathized  with  the  Confederates,  and  for  a  time 
cast  a  serious  doubt  upon  the  efficiency  of  the 

By  way  of  testing  the  ironclads  of  the  Monitor 
type,  Admiral  Du  Pont,  in  the  latter  part  of  Janu-  i863 
ary,  had  sent  the  MontauJc  to  attack  the  Confederate 
works  at  Genesis  Point,  about  fifteen  miles  south 
of  Savannah,  afterwards  known  as  Fort  Mc- 
Allister, and  the  scene  of  several  serious  engage- 
ments, and,  if  possible,  to  capture  or  destroy  the 
Nashville,  a  swift  blockade-runner,  which  failing  to 
escape  with  a  cargo  of  cotton  had  been  withdrawn, 




her  cargo  removed,  and  the  vessel  fitted  out  as  a  chap.  hi. 
privateer.  Under  the  protection  of  Fort  McAllister, 
she  had  lain  in  the  Ogeechee  River  for  several 
months  waiting  for  an  opportunity  to  emerge. 
Worden,  whose  gallantry  and  intelligence  had  al- 
ready been  shown  in  the  combat  with  the  Merrimac, 
attacked  the  fort  on  the  27th  of  January,  and  again  i863. 
on  the  1st  of  February,  but  inflicted  no  damage 
upon  it  which  could  not  be  readily  repaired.  The 
fort  poured  volley  after  volley  upon  the  Montauk 
with  very  little  effect.  Had  tho  fort  been  the  only 
enemy  in  sight  the  Montauk  would  have  at  once 
proceeded  up  the  river ;  but  the  stream  was  heavily 
obstructed  and  planted  with  a  line  of  torpedoes. 

On  the  27th  of  February  Worden  observed  the  lsea 
Nashville  with  steam  up,  and  apparently  in  trouble, 
and  after  a  bold  yet  careful  reconnaissance  he  dis- 
covered that  she  was  aground  about  1200  yards 
above  the  obstructions.  With  a  true  sailor's  in- 
tuition he  saw  that  his  prey  was  within  his  reach. 
She  had  grounded  at  high  water  and  could  not  get 
off  before  morning.  He  therefore  resolved  at  the 
earliest  light  to  push  into  the  area  swept  by  Mc- 
Allister's fire  and  destroy  the  privateer  at  his 
leisure.  This  daring  but  sagacious  plan  was  car- 
ried out  at  daylight  the  next  morning.  Deliberately 
placing  himself  under  the  guns  of  McAllister  he 
opened  fire  upon  the  Nashville  across  a  low  projec- 
tion of  swampy  land  at  the  point  of  which  lay  the 
line  of  obstructions.  The  upper  works  of  the  pri- 
vateer alone  were  in  sight  across  the  low  land,  but 
Worden,  undisturbed  by  the  tempest  of  shot  and 
shell  which  rained  on  him  from  the  fort,  speedily  got 
the  range  of  the  Nashville  and  dropped  his  11  and 



CHAP.  ill. 

March  i 

15  inch  shells  with  terrible  precision  upon  the  Con- 
federate vessel,  and  in  a  few  moments  saw  the  flames 
rising  from  her  above  the  swamp.  Through  the  thick 
fog  which  now  settled  down  over  both  combatants, 
hiding  them  from  each  other's  view,  Worden  con- 
tinued his  deadly  fire,  his  mathematics  taking  the 
place  of  eyesight.  All  his  available  men  stood  by 
to  repel  boarders  who  were  expected  every  moment 
through  the  fog;  but  none  came,  and  when  the 
mist  disappeared  in  the  morning  sun  the  Nashville 
was  seen  to  be  on  fire  from  stem  to  stern.  Her 
pivot  gun  burst;  a  few  minutes  later  her  smoke- 
stack went  by  the  board,  and  at  last,  with  a  loud 
detonation,  the  magazine  exploded,  scattering  the 
blackened  timbers  over  the  river  and  swamp.  The 
furious  and  inaccurate  fire  of  McAllister  had  done 
little  or  no  damage  to  the  Montauk.  One  of  the 
most  brilliant  and  scientific  exploits  of  the  navy 
during  the  war  had  been  gained  almost  without 

Three  days  later  Admiral  Du  Pont,  as  a  matter 
of  experiment  and  practice,  ordered  the  Passaic, 
Patapsco,  and  the  Nahant  to  make  a  new  attack 
upon  Fort  McAllister,  which  was  energetically 
done.  The  engagement  was  interesting  as  a  matter 
of  target  practice,  but  without  substantial  results 
on  either  side.  On  account  of  the  obstructions 
and  the  depth  of  water,  vessels  could  not  approach 
nearer  than  1200  yards,  and  although  this  had 
not  been  too  great  a  distance  for  the  Montauk  to 
destroy  the  Nashville  it  was  entirely  too  far  for 
anything  afloat  to  destroy  an  earthwork  like  Mc- 
Allister. Two  of  the  guns  of  the  fort  were  dis- 
abled, the  parapet  and  traverses  were  badly  knocked 


about,  but  no  damage  was  done  which  could  not   chap.  hi. 
be  repaired  in  a  few  hours.     The  vessels  returned       i863. 
substantially  unhurt  to  Port  Royal  harbor.1 

A  formidable  force  of  ironclads  had  been  col- 
lected, under  the  command  of  Rear- Admiral  Du 
Pont,  by  the  beginning  of  April,  1863.  The  officers 
and  crews  had  become  sufficiently  acquainted  with 
their  construction  and  disciplined  in  their  work- 
ings. They  had  been  tested  by  the  incidents  we 
have  described,  and  by  a  large  number  of  recon- 
naissances in  the  various  rivers,  bays,  and  inlets 
which  formed  the  network  of  the  Sea  Islands.  The 
admiral  now  prepared,  under  orders  from  Wash- 
ington, to  assault  with  his  entire  iron-clad  fleet 
Fort  Sumter  and  the  other  defenses  of  Charleston, 
and  high  hopes  were  entertained,  both  in  the  fleet 
and  at  Washington,  of  the  capture  of  the  City  of 
Charleston.  Although  the  officers  of  the  navy  had 
already  conceived  a  prejudice  against  the  monitor 
class  of  vessels,  which  afterwards  developed  into 
vehement  hostility,  and  although  life  below  the 
surface  of  the  waves  was  almost  intolerable  in  these 
iron  chests,  it  was  with  a  feeling  of  hope  and 
elation  that  this  extensive  attack  was  planned  and 
begun.2    When  at  noon,  on  the  7th  of  April,  the 

1  Major  D.  B.  Harris,  Confeder-  2  Rear- Admiral  Daniel  Ammen 
ate  chief  engineer  of  the  depart-  says  in  his  historical  work,  "  The 
ment,  took  encouragement  from  Atlantic  Coast,"  p.  102:  "The 
this  affair.  "  The  result  of  this  opinion  before  the  attack  was 
engagement,"  he  said,  "  ought  to  general,  and  was  fully  shared  in 
make  us  feel  quite  comfortable,  by  the  writer,  that  whatever  might 
When  the  grand  affair  with  which  be  the  loss  in  men  and  vessels, 
the  abolitionists  have  been  so  blown  up  by  torpedoes  or  other- 
long  threatening  us  shall  come  wise  destroyed  (and  such  losses 
off  (if  it  ever  does)  I  am  sure  our  were  supposed  probable),  at  all 
sand  batteries  will  give  a  good  events  Fort  Sumter  would  be 
account  of  themselves." — W.  R.  reduced  to  a  pile  of  ruins  before 
Vol.  XIV.,  p.  219.  the  sun  went  down." 

Vol.  VII.— 5 


chap.  in.  great  flotilla  moved  in  the  order  of  battle,  which 
sailors  call  "  line  ahead,"  under  the  lead  of  Captain 
John  Rodgers,  in  the  Weehawken,  there  was  little 
doubt  in  the  minds  of  the  accomplished  officers 
commanding  the  ironclads  that  they  could  silence 
the  batteries  on  either  side  and  pound  Fort  Sumter 
into  brick-dust  before  the  sun  should  set. 

There  was  great  excitement  also  in  the  Confed- 
erate camp.  For  the  past  two  months  General 
Beauregard  had  been  in  constant  expectation  of  a 
serious  attack.  On  the  8th  of  February  he  tele- 
graphed the  Governor  of  South  Carolina,  saying 
that  an  attack  would  soon  be  made  by  an  over- 
whelming force,  and  that  not  much  assistance  could 
be  expected  from  the   Confederate    Government. 

Feb.  5, 1863.  General  Lee  wrote  to  Jeff erson  Davis  in  the  same 
sense,  saying  also  that  he  expected  an  advance  on 
the  part  of  General  Hooker ;  but  adding,  "  the  troops 
of  this  army  are  ready  to  move  at  a  moment's 
w.  r.  warning  and  all  I  require  is  notice  where  they  are 
P!  766.  "  wanted,"  and  twelve  days  later  Beauregard  issued  a 
stirring  proclamation  couched  in  the  grandiloquent 
terms  characteristic  of  him,  urging  non-combatants 
to  retire  at  once  from  Charleston  and  Savannah, 
and  ending  with  this  clamorous  appeal :  "  Caro- 
linians and  Georgians!  the  hour  is  at  hand  to 
prove  your  devotion  to  your  country's  cause.  Let 
all  able-bodied  men  from  the  sea-board  to  the 
mountains  rush  to  arms.  Be  not  exacting  in  the 
choice  of  weapons;  pikes  and  scythes  will  do  for 
exterminating  your  enemies;  spades  and  shovels 

ibid.,  p.  782.  for  protecting  your  friends."  The  Governor  the 
next  day  called  out  the  militia,  saying:  "  The  Abo- 
litionists are  threatening  to  invade  our  soil  with  a 



formidable  army,  and    ...    the  most  effective    chap.  in. 
method    of    defending    our   firesides,   our   wives,      w.r. 

Vol.  XIV. 

and  our  children  is  to  meet  the  ruthless  invader      p-  ?8±.  " 
at  the  threshold." 

General  Beauregard  remained  in  this  nervous 
state  during  the  two  months  that  intervened  before 
the  attack.  He  was  continually  writing  to  Rich- 
mond in  regard  to  the  overwhelming  land  forces  of 
the  enemy ;  striving,  like  some  of  the  Federal  gen- 
erals, to  put  the  Government  in  the  wrong  in  case 
of  a  defeat  and  to  secure  for  himself  all  the  credit 
in  case  of  victory.  He  claimed  that  Hunter's  force 
was  40,000,  while  his  own  was  only  25,000.  Writing 
to  Mr.  Memminger  on  the  28th  of  March,  he  said  that  wea. 
he  needed  three  more  brigades  of  troops,  but  he 
hoped  "  if  we  are  not  successful,  while  the  country 
may  deplore,  it  will  have  no  just  cause  to  blush  for 
our  defeat."  His  apprehensions  reached  their  climax  ibid.,  P.  849. 
when  the  ironclads  appeared  off  Charleston  harbor, 
and  he  then  issued  orders  to  Captain  Francis  D.  Lee 
to  make  all  necessary  arrangements  for  the  destruc- 
tion of  the  torpedo  ram  under  his  charge  at  a  mo- 
ment's warning.  He  understated  his  own  force  ibid.fP.885. 
and  greatly  overestimated  that  of  his  enemy.  His 
returns  for  the  7th  of  April  showed  an  effective 
total  of  32,217  men;  his  aggregate  present  and  ibid., p. 889. 
absent  being  43,449 ;  not  counting  3000  negroes  at 
work  on  the  fortifications ;  while  Hunter's  returns 
show  about  20,000  present  for  duty,  with  an  aggre- 
gate, present  and  absent,  of  27,060.  ibid.,P.434. 

The  nine  floating  forts  composing  the  flotilla1 

l-The  flotilla  consisted  of  the  Captain  John  L.   Worden ;    the 

WeehawTcen,    Captain  John  Rod-  Patapsco,     Commander     Daniel 

gers ;  the  Passaic,  Captain  Per-  Ammen ;  the  New  Ironsides,  Ad- 

cival    Drayton ;    the     Montauk,  miral  Du  Pont's   flagship,  com- 



"t^L-^Ar^fHiFP^i  \  5XKST\-fc  *-0  '"""cooes  ^BgBli/    ^ 

••    \   **:      NC&  Jl  i      *»?/  n  ^  •-■ vS   REBELLION  \  t$%  o          I 

*•         rcx- ..r-fc  .«-"      — i  o*?"-  v^BKfeiSe 


•.V       ^  V 


I  *i  <  <t 

\  o  *  N  f ' 

3000  YSKQ9 

1  MILS 



embodied  the  best  results  of  labor,  invention,  and  chap.  in. 
discipline  of  which  the  navy  was  capable.  It  was 
Admiral  Du  Pont's  intention,  keeping  the  batteries 
on  Sullivan's  Island  to  his  right,  to  move  up  the 
channel  between  Fort  Moultrie  and  Fort  Sumter 
and  establish  himself  to  the  northwest  of  the  latter 
work,  to  reduce  it  by  the  fire  of  the  monitors,  and 
thence  to  gather  the  fruits  of  victory  at  the  wharves 
of  Charleston.  But  the  result  was  one  of  the  most 
complete  failures  of  the  war.  In  spite  of  the  lavish 
expense,  the  long  preparation,  and  the  gallantry 
and  obstinacy  with  which  the  attack  was  made,  the 
monitors  met  with  a  severe  repulse,  and,  although 
few  lives  were  lost,  the  victory  of  the  Confederates 
was,  to  them,  one  of  the  most  valuable  and  inspirit- 
ing which  they  ever  gained.  The  attack,  that 
was  to  have  begun  at  noon  on  the  7th  of  April,  was,  i863. 
as  usual,  delayed  by  trivial  accidents  for  over  an 
hour,  and  after  the  vessels  got  under  way  their  im- 
perfect steering  qualities  caused  the  line  of  battle 
to  be  continually  disarranged,  and  it  was  nearly 
three  o'clock  when  the  Weehawhen  received  the  first 
furious  volleys  from  Moultrie  and  Sumter,  and  all 
the  subsidiary  batteries  within  range.  Rodgers 
replied  with  his  usual  energy  and  spirit.  In  spite 
of  the  rain  of  iron  from  the  forts,  he  worked  his  guns 
as  rapidly  as  possible,  firing  26  heavy  shells  from 
the  Weehawhen  which,  in  turn,  was  struck  53  times 
in  40  minutes,  receiving  considerable  injuries  but 
not  becoming  disabled.  He  approached  very  near 
the  obstructions  which  extended  from  Fort  Sumter 

manded  by  Commodore  Thomas  Fairfax  ;    the    Nahant,    Captain 

Turner;  the  Catskill,  Commander  John  Downes,  and  the  unfortu- 

George  W.  Rodgers ;   the  Nan-  nate  Keokuk,  Commander  Alex- 

tucket,    Commander   Donald   M.  ander  C.  Rhind. 


chap.  in.  to  Fort  Moultrie,  and  found  the  casks  by  which  they 
were  buoyed  and  marked  so  thickly  dotting  the 
waters,  and  with  an  appearance  so  formidable,  that 

APrii7,i863.  he  thought  best  not  to  push  his  vessel  further  upon 
such  certain  perils  and  probable  disaster.  As  the 
Weehawken  turned  a  torpedo  exploded  under  her, 
but  did  no  harm.1  The  other  vessels,  as  they 
came  within  range  of  the  Confederate  batteries, 
had  much  the  same  experience.  The  Passaic 
was  struck  35  times;  the  Montauk  received  14 
shots  without  especial  injury;  the  Catskill,  ap- 
proaching within  600  yards  of  Sumter,  met  a  heavy 
cross-fire,  receiving  20  missiles ;  the  Nantucket 
was  struck  51  times,  and  the  Naliant  36  times; 
the  Keokuk,  finding  itself  in  danger  of  running 
foul  of  the  Nahant  in  the  narrow  channel  and  the 
rushing  tide,  took  a  position  a  little  in  advance  of  the 
line  and  between  the  fire  of  Moultrie  and  Sumter ; 
she  was  struck  90  times,  19  shots  piercing  her  about 
the  water-line.  After  more  than  an  hour  of  this 
frightful  punishment  she  was  withdrawn  and  an- 
chored out  of  range  of  the  enemy's  fire  and  kept 
afloat  during  the  night,  but  at  seven  o'clock  the 
next  morning  she  rapidly  filled  and  sank ;  her  crew 
and  wounded  having  been  removed  just  in  time  to 
save  their  lives. 

1  Beauregard  says  the  obstruc-  Therefore  it  may  be  accepted,  as 

tions  had  nothing  to  do  with  the  shown,  that  these  vaunted  moni- 

failure  of  the  attack.     He  con-  tor  batteries,  though  formidable 

tends  that  the  monitors  had  only  engines  of  war,  after  all,  are  not 

"reached  the  gorge  of  the  harbor—  invulnerable  nor  invincible,  and 

never  within  it  —  and  were  baffled  may  be  destroyed  or  defeated  by 

and  driven  back  before  reaching  heavy  ordnance  properly  placed 

our  lines  of  torpedoes  and  obstruc-  and  skillfully  handled.    In  reality 

tions  which  had  been  constructed  they  have  not  materially  altered 

as  an  ultimate  defensive  resort  as  the  military  relations  of  forts  and 

far  as  they  could  be  provided.  .  .  ships." — W.  R.  Vol.  XIV.,  p.  242. 



Admiral  Du  Pont  was  unable  to  bring  his  own 
flagship,  the  New  Ironsides,  into  the  thick  of  the 
fight,  as  he  desired  and  endeavored  to  do.  The 
vessel  was  almost  unmanageable  in  the  narrow 
channel  and  the  swift  current,  and  had  to  be 
anchored  twice  to  prevent  grounding.  She  came 
no  nearer  to  Fort  Sumter  at  any  time  than  one 
thousand  yards.  In  the  course  of  her  movements 
she  floated  for  an  hour  over  a  cylinder  torpedo 
of  the  enemy  containing  two  thousand  pounds  of 
powder,  at  first  to  the  delight,  but  finally  to  the  ex- 
asperation, of  the  Confederate  engineer  who  tried  in 
vain  to  explode  it.  Near  five  o'clock  the  admiral, 
finding  that  it  was  too  late  to  fight  the  battle  be- 
fore dark,  gave  signal  for  his  vessels  to  withdraw, 
expecting  to  renew  the  attack  the  next  morning. 

But  as  the  commanders  of  the  ironclads  reported, 
one  by  one,  on  board  the  flagship,  with  their  stories 
of  injury  to  their  vessels,  stories  in  which  there  was 
perhaps  something  of  unintentional  exaggeration, 
natural  to  men  who  had  been  confined  during  the 
afternoon  in  such  abnormal  conditions  under  water, 
exposed  every  instant  to  the  danger  of  death  by 
drowning,  by  cannon-shot,  by  flying  splinters  and 
broken  plates  and  bolts,  the  admiral  became  con- 
vinced of  the  uselessness  of  any  further  attempt 
to  force  the  passage  of  the  forts,  and  concluded  to 
renounce  his  intention  of  renewing  the  attack.  He 
briefly  announced  this  conclusion  to  the  Depart- 
ment, and,  in  a  later  and  more  detailed  report,  of 
April  15,  he  described  the  fire  to  which  his  vessels 
were  subjected  and  the  injury  resulting  from  it,  and 
gave  it  as  his  opinion  that  any  attempt  to  pass 
through  the  obstructions  would  have  entangled  the 

Chap.  III. 

April  7, 1863. 


"  Battles 



Vol.  IV., 

p.  73. 



of  the 

Navy,  1863, 

pp.    199-202. 



Chap.  III. 



of  the 

Navy,  1863, 

p.  201. 

Welles  to 
Du  Pont, 

April  2, 

W.  R. 
Vol.  XIV., 

p.  436. 

vessels  and  held  them  under  the  most  severe  fire  of 
heavy  ordnance  that  had  ever  been  delivered.  "  I 
had  hoped,"  he  said,  "that  the  endurance  of  the 
ironclads  would  have  enabled  them  to  have  borne 
any  weight  of  fire  to  which  they  might  have  been 
exposed ;  but  when  I  found  that  so  large  a  portion 
of  them  were  wholly  or  one-half  disabled  by  less 
than  an  hour's  engagement,  before  attempting  to 
remove  (overcome)  the  obstructions,  or  testing 
the  power  of  the  torpedoes,  I  was  convinced  that 
persistence  in  the  attack  would  only  result  in  the 
loss  of  the  greater  portion  of  the  ironclad  fleet, 
and  in  leaving  many  of  them  inside  the  harbor  to 
fall  into  the  hands  of  the  enemy."  The  latter 
contingency  would  have  been  a  serious  disaster, 
and  might  have  resulted  in  the  breaking  of  the 

On  the  same  evening  Admiral  Du  Pont  received 
a  confidential  letter  from  the  Secretary  of  the 
Navy,  dated  April  2,  saying :  "  The  exigencies 
of  the  public  service  are  so  pressing  in  the  Gulf 
that  the  Department  directs  you  to  send  all  the 
ironclads  that  are  in  a  fit  condition  to  move,  after 
your  present  attack  upon  Charleston,  directly 
to  New  Orleans,  reserving  to  yourself  only  two." 
This  order  was  accompanied  by  an  unofficial  letter 
from  Mr.  Fox,  saying  that  matters  were  at  a  stand- 
still on  the  Mississippi  River  and  that  the  President 
had  been,  with  difficulty,  restrained  from  sending 
off  Hunter  and  all  the  ironclads  directly  to  New 
Orleans,  the  opening  of  the  Mississippi  being  now 
the  principal  object  of  the  Government.  He  says : 
"  We  must  abandon  all  other  operations  on  the  coast, 
where  ironclads  are  necessary,  to  a  future  time.   We 


cannot  clear  the  Mississippi  River  without  the  iron-   chap.  hi. 
clads,  and  as  all  the  supplies  come  down  the  Red 
River,  that  stretch  of  the  river  must  be  in  our  pos-       Pox 
session.     This  plan  has  been   agreed  upon  after  t°55a^' 
mature  consideration,  and  seems  to  be  imperative."      w.  r. 
While  the   mind   of  the   admiral  was  under  the      p.*  436. " 
influence  of  the  failure  of  the  attack  and  of  these 
dispatches,  General  Hunter,  commanding  the  land 
forces,  made  a  proposition  that  the  army  and  navy 
should  join  in  an  attack  on  the  works  on  Morris 
Island,  which   proposition   the  admiral  declined. 
Answering  a  letter  full  of  compliment  and  sympathy 
from  General  Hunter,  the  admiral  said :  "  I  feel 
very  comfortable,  general,  for  the  reason  that  a 
merciful  Providence  permitted  me  to  have  a  failure 
instead  of  a  disaster,  and  if  I  had  ever  entertained    Du  Pont 
for  a  moment  any  misgiving  as  to  my  course,  the   *  Aprl?!^ 
dispatches  just  handed  me  would  remove  it."    The  ibid.fp.*438. 
day  before,  April  8,  finding  the  ships  more  damaged 
than  he  had  suspected,  he  had  written  to  General 
Hunter:  "  I  am  now  satisfied  that  the  place  cannot 
be  taken  by  a  purely  naval  attack,  and  I  am  ad- 
monished by  the  condition  of  the  ironclads  that  a 
persistence  in  our  efforts  would  end  in  disaster,  and 
might  cause  us  to  leave  some  of  our  ironclads  in 
the  hands  of  the  enemy,  which  would  render  it 
difficult  for  us  to  hold  those  parts  of  the  coast  which 
are  now  in  our  possession.    I  have  therefore  de-      W#R 
termined  to  withdraw  my  vessels."1  Vp.'S7*' 

1  In  another  note  Du  Pont  had  concerned ;  the  longest  was  one 

said  (April  8)  :  "  My  Dear  Gen-  hour  and    the    others  forty-five 

eral :  I  attempted  to  take  the  bull  minutes  under  fire,  and  five  of  the 

by  the  horns,   but  he   was  too  eight   were  wholly  or    partially 

much  for  us.    These  monitors  are  disabled." —  W.    R.     Vol.   XIV., 

miserable  failures  where  forts  are  p.  437. 



Chap.  III. 


p.  106. 

The  failure  of  the  naval  attack  on  Charleston 
caused  a  disappointment  in  the  North  in  propor- 
tion to  the  high  hopes  which  had  been  entertained 
of  a  brilliant  success.  On  the  11th  of  April,  before 
the  news  had  reached  Washington,  the  Secretary  of 
the  Navy  wrote  to  Du  Pont  that  the  President  had 
suggested  that  in  view  of  operations  elsewhere,  and 
especially  by  the  Army  of  the  Potomac,  it  would 
be  best  for  the  admiral  to  retain  a  strong  force  off 
Charleston  even  if  he  should  find  it  impossible  to 
carry  the  place.  He  therefore  ordered  him  to  con- 
tinue to  menace  the  rebels,  keeping  them  in  appre- 
hension of  a  renewed  attack,  in  order  that  they 
might  be  occupied,  and  not  come  North  or  go 
West  to  the  aid  of  those  with  whom  our  forces 
were  expecting  to  be  immediately  engaged. 
"  Should  you  be  successful,"  added  the  Secre- 
tary, "  as  we  trust  and  believe  you  will  be,  it  is  ex- 
pected that  General  Hunter  will  continue  to  keep 
the  rebels  employed  and  in  constant  apprehension, 
so  that  they  shall  not  leave  the  vicinity  of  Charles- 
ton. This  detention  of  ironclads,  should  it  be 
necessary  in  consequence  of  a  repulse,  can  be  but 
for  a  few  days.  I  trust  your  success  will  be  such 
that  the  ironclads  can  be,  or  will  have  been,  dis- 
patched to  the  Gulf  when  this  reaches  you."  This 
dispatch,  which  counted  so  confidently  upon  his 
success,  was  bitter  reading  to  the  admiral  after 
his  failure.  A  day  or  two  later  he  received  a 
dispatch  directly  from  the  President,  dated  the 
13th  of  April :  "  Hold  your  position  inside  the  bar 
near  Charleston,  or,  if  you  shall  have  left  it,  return 
to  it,  and  hold  it  till  further  orders.  Do  not  allow 
the  enemy  to  erect  new  batteries  or  defenses  on 


Morris  Island.    If  he  has  begun  it,  drive  him  out.    chap.  hi. 
I   do  not  herein  order  you  to  renew  the  general  .  ^j?* 

J  °  to  Du  Pont, 

attack.    That  is  to  depend  on  your  own  discretion  or    A^13' 
a  further  order."    And  the  next  day,  conscious  of  a   Vol  xiv., 
certain  inconsistency  between  this  order  and  that  of      p"  uo' 
April  2,  the  President  issued  a  joint  instruction 
to  General  Hunter  and  Admiral  Du  Pont,  directing 
him  who  received  it  first  to  communicate  it  in- 
stantly to  the  other : 

Executive  Mansion,  April  14, 1863. 
This  is  intended  to  clear  up  an  apparent  inconsistency 
between  the  recent  order  to  continue  operations  before 
Charleston,  and  the  former  one  to  remove  to  another 
point  in  a  certain  contingency.  No  censure  upon  you,  or 
either  of  you,  is  intended.  We  still  hope  that  by  cordial 
and  judicious  cooperation  you  can  take  the  batteries  on 
Morris  Island  and  Sullivan's  Island  and  Fort  Sumter. 
But  whether  you  can  or  not,  we  wish  the  demonstration 
kept  up  for  a  time,  for  a  collateral  and  very  important 
object;  we  wish  the  attempt  to  be  a  real  one  (though 
not  a  desperate  one)  if  it  affords  any  considerable  chance 
of  success.  But  if  prosecuted  as  a  demonstration  only, 
this  must  not  become  public,  or  the  whole  effect  will  be 
lost.  Once  again  before  Charleston,  do  not  leave  till 
further  orders  from  here.  Of  course  this  is  not  intended 
to  force  you  to  leave  unduly  exposed  Hilton  Head  or 
other  near  points  in  your  charge.     Yours  truly, 

A.  Lincoln.      ibid.,  p.  441. 

On  receipt  of  these  dispatches  the  mortification 
and  resentment  of  Admiral  Du  Pont  were  greatly 
increased.  He  fancied,  entirely  without  reason, 
that  the  President's  orders  were  couched  in  a  tone 
of  censure  and  criticism,  and  wrote  on  the  16th  to  April,  lses. 
the  Secretary  of  the  Navy,  requesting  that  the  De- 
partment would  relieve  him  by  appointing  an  of-  Ammen, 
ficer  "  who,  in  its  opinion,  is  more  able  to  execute     Atlantic 

Coast " 

that  service  in  which  I  have  had  the  misfortune  to      p.  ios. 


chap.  in.  fail — the  capture  of  Charleston. "  He  announced  his 
intention  to  obey  all  orders  with  the  utmost  fidelity, 
even  when  his  judgment  was  entirely  at  variance 
with  them,  such  as  the  order  to  reoccupy  the  unsafe 
anchorage  for  the  ironclads  off  Morris  Island,  and 
an  intimation  that  a  renewal  of  the  attack  on 
Charleston  might  be  ordered,  "which,"  he  added,  "in 
my  judgment  would  be  attended  with  disastrous 
results,  involving  the  loss  of  this  coast."  In  the 
same  tone  of  resentful  subordination  he  said,  "  I 
shall  spare  no  exertions  in  repairing,  as  soon  as 
possible,  the  serious  injuries  sustained  by  the 
monitors  in  the  late  attack,  and  shall  get  them  in- 
side Charleston  bar  with  all  dispatch  in  accordance 
with  the  order  of  the  President.  I  think  it  my 
duty,  however,  to  state  to  the  Department  that  this 
will  be  attended  with  great  risk  to  these  vessels 
from  the  gales  which  prevail  at  this  season,  and 
Ammen,  from  the  continuous  fire  of  the  enemy's  batteries, 
Atlantic     which  they  can   neither  silence  nor  prevent  the 

Coast " 

p.  108.  erection  of  new  ones."  In  this  opinion  the  admiral 
was  supported  by  the  leading  officers  of  his  fleet. 
It  was  the  general  belief  in  the  blockading  squadron 
that  the  monitors  could  not  ride  securely  at  anchor 
within  the  bar;  the  opinion,  however,  was  erro- 
neous, as  was  afterwards  frankly  admitted  by  the 
same  ofiicers.  The  bar  was  found  to  furnish  a 
sufficient  protection  from  the  heavy  seas  to  the 
vessels  inside;  and  the  monitors  rode  safely  at 
anchor  off  Charleston,  inside  the  bar,  for  nearly 
two  years.  They  were  made  safe  by  heavy  moor- 
ibid.,  p.  us.  ings  with  buoys  attached ;  and  the  dragging,  so 
confidently  predicted  by  Du  Pont,  never  took 


The  monitor  vessels  did  most  important  service  chap.  hi. 
at  a  critical  time,  and  their  short  history  will  render 
still  more  illustrious  the  name  of  their  accomplished 
inventor.  But  there  existed  against  them  among 
the  higher  officers  of  the  navy  an  unconquerable 
repugnance.  This  arose  partly  from  the  disagree- 
able conditions  of  existence  in  the  monitors  in  the 
Southern  seas.  The  temperature  below  decks,  when 
the  hatches  were  closed,  became  almost  intolerable 
in  the  course  of  a  few  hours ;  and  the  perils  of  battle 
were  doubled  by  those  of  asphyxia  to  officers  and 
men,  laboring  in  intense  activity  and  excitement  in 
the  vitiated  air.  The  dangers  which  a  trained  sol- 
dier or  sailor  accustoms  himself  to  accept  with  cool- 
ness in  the  wonted  conditions  of  field  or  siege, 
or  on  the  open  deck,  became  much  more  exasper- 
ating to  the  nerves,  when,  to  a  man  shut  up  in  an 
iron  room,  every  inch  of  the  wall  was  charged  with 
possible  death.  The  officers  in  the  turrets  were 
constantly  exposed  to  destruction  from  the  flying 
of  nuts  within,  answering  to  the  impact  of  projec- 
tiles without.1  Many  a  tired  officer,  leaning  for 
a  moment's  rest  against  the  wall  of  his  protecting 
dungeon,  was  disabled  by  the  shock  of  a  shell 
outside  that  never  touched  him.  The  slow  move- 
ment of  the  vessels  in  action,  a  fault  which  was 
rapidly  and  constantly  aggravated  by  the  extraor- 
dinary growth  of  seaweed  and  shellfish  on  their 
bottoms  in  the  warm  Southern  waters;  their  in- 

1 "  The  plates  of  the  turret  and  the  turret,  and  the  rebound  of 
of  the  pilot-house  were  held  to-  the  plates  would  then,  at  times, 
gether  by  numerous  bolts,  with  withdraw  the  bolts  entirely,  but 
the  heads  on  the  outside  and  a  nut  more  frequently  they  would  stand 
within.  The  blow  of  a  very  out  like  the  '  quills  upon  the  fret- 
heavy  projectile  would  make  the  ful  porcupine. ' " — Ammen,  "  The 
nuts  fly  with  great  force  within  Atlantic  Coast,"  p.  112. 


chap.  in.  curable  habit  of  sheering  from  one  side  to  the  other 
when  not  under  way — all  induced  the  officers, 
whose  education  and  training  had  been  obtained  in 
swift-sailing  clippers  on  the  deep  seas,  to  regard 
the  monitors  with  feelings  of  disgust,  which  ren- 
dered them,  perhaps,  unjust  to  their  great  and  in- 
contestable merits.  Five  of  the  officers  of  highest 
rank  near  Charleston,  a  month  after  the  failure  of 
the  attack  on  Sumter,  submitted  an  opinion  to  the 
Navy  Department  which  condemned  the  monitors 
in  the  strongest  language ;  they  regarded  them  as 
incapable  of  keeping  the  seas  and  of  making  long 
voyages;  though  in  a  secure  harbor,  and  able  to 
choose  their  time  of  exit,  it  was  admitted  they 
could  greatly  damage  and  harass  a  blockading 
force.  The  long  time  required  to  load,  point,  and 
fire  the  heavy  guns,  which  they  placed  at  seven 
minutes,  was  another  objection.  The  Navy  Depart- 
ment, however,  did  not  accept  this  report  as  conclu- 
sive against  the  monitors,  and  they  continued  to 
render  good  service  until  the  close  of  the  war.  Per- 
haps no  more  striking  proof  of  the  excellent  qualities 
of  the  monitors,  and  of  their  serious  structural  de- 
fects, was  ever  given  than  in  the  splendid  achieve- 
1863.  ment  of  the  Weehawken  on  the  17th  of  June,  and 
her  inglorious  end  the  following  winter. 

All  through  the  early  part  of  the  month  of  June 
rumors  were  continually  reaching  Admiral  Du  Pont 
that  the  Confederate  ironclads  at  Savannah  were 
about  to  leave  by  way  of  the  Wilmington  Eiver  for 
the  purpose  of  raising  the  blockade  of  Warsaw 
Sound  and  the  neighboring  inlets.  The  principal 
ironclad  at  that  place,  and  one  of  the  most  formid- 
able war  vessels  ever  constructed  by  the  Confeder- 


acy,  was  the  ram  Atlanta.  This  was  originally  an  chap,  iil 
English  iron  steamer  called  the  Fingal,  which,  after 
a  successful  career  as  a  blockade  runner,  had  been 
taken  by  the  Confederate  Government,  rechristened 
the  Atlanta,  and  altered  into  a  man-of-war.  Her  deck 
had  been  cut  down  to  within  about  two  feet  of  the 
water ;  this  was  surmounted  by  a  casemate  with  in- 
clined sides  and  flat  roof,  inclosing  a  powerful  bat- 
tery of  four  Brooke  rifles  of  six  and  seven  inch 
caliber,  two  of  which  could  be  fired  either  laterally  or 
fore  and  aft.  Her  armor  was  four  inches  thick,  of 
double  2-inch  plates  of  English  railroad  iron.  The 
edges  of  the  deck  projected  six  feet  from  the  side 
of  the  vessel;  the  overhang  being  filled  in  and 
strengthened  with  a  heavy  mass  of  wood  and  iron. 
These  details  were,  of  course,  unknown  to  Ad- 
miral Du  Pont ;  but  knowledge  of  the  great  strength 
of  the  vessel  and  of  the  high  hopes  entertained  of  her 
in  the  South  had  come  to  him,  and  he  therefore  dis- 
patched to  Warsaw  Sound,  to  guard  against  her, 
two  of  his  best  monitors,  the  Weehawken  and  the 
Nahant,  under  the  command,  respectively,  of  two 
of  the  most  trustworthy  and  accomplished  officers 
in  the  fleet,  Captain  John  Eodgers  and  Commander 
John  Downes.  As  soon  as  the  monitors  appeared, 
the  officers  of  the  Atlanta  joyfully  accepted  the  gage 
of  battle  thus  held  out  to  them,  and  early  on  the 
morning  of  the  17th  of  June,  she  came  down  the  iaea 
river  accompanied  by  several  steamers,  decorated 
with  holiday  flags,  and  loaded  with  spectators,  who 
had  thronged  from  the  city  to  witness  the  easy  defeat 
and  probable  destruction  or  capture  of  the  Yankee 
flotilla.  There  may  have  been  more  of  confidence 
and  of  ardor  on  board  the  Atlanta  than  within  the 


chap. in.  black  turrets  of  the  Federal  ironclads;  but  there 
never  were  seen,  afloat  or  ashore,  more  of  coolness, 
courage,  and  trained  scientific  presence  of  mind 
than  Captain  Rodgers  brought  to  the  important 
^8663.  '  work  before  him.  At  the  first  sight  of  his  enemy 
he  beat  to  quarters  and  cleared  his  ship  for  action ; 
then,  slipping  their  cables,  the  WeehawJcen  and  the 
Naliant  steamed  outward  for  the  northeast  end  of 
Warsaw  Island.  The  movement  was  interpreted 
on  board  the  Atlanta  as  one  of  retreat.  The  Fed- 
eral commanders,  having  finished  their  prepara- 
tions, turned  and  stood  up  the  sound  to  meet  their 
confident  adversary.  The  Atlanta  fired  first,  at  a 
distance  of  a  mile  and  a  half ;  the  shot,  which  went 
over  the  stern  of  the  Weehawken,  struck  the  water 
near  the  Naliant  For  twenty  minutes  the  monitors 
advanced  slowly  and  steadily  and  in  perfect  silence, 
until  Eodgers,  who  was  in  the  lead,  and  whose  plan 
had  been  thoroughly  arranged  in  advance,  attained 
the  point  he  had  selected  for  beginning  his  attack 
three  hundred  yards  from  the  Confederate  ram. 
As  coolly  and  deliberately  as  if  he  were  engaged  at 
target  practice  he  opened  fire  with  his  15-inch  gun. 
The  result  of  his  first  shot  on  the  Atlanta  was  sim- 
ply stupefying.  Although  it  was  fired  at  an  angle  of 
fifty  degrees  with  the  keel,  striking  the  sloping  side 
of  the  vessel  in  the  line  of  her  ports,  it  penetrated 
her  armor,  ripped  out  the  wooden  backing,  covering 
the  deck  with  splinters  of  iron  and  Georgia  pine, 
and  prostrated  "about  forty  men."  The  second 
shot  struck  the  edge  of  her  projection,  starting 
some  plates ;  the  third  took  off  the  roof  of  the  pilot- 
house, injuring  both  pilots,  and  knocking  senseless 
the  man  at  the  wheel.    One  more  shot  came,  thun- 



deiing  ruin  and  doom,  breaking  a  port  shutter  and  chap.  hi. 
driving  the  crumbled  fragments  in  through  the  port. 
This  was  all  the  work  of  a  few  minutes.  The  Atlanta  n^lf 
fired  only  one  shell,  at  long  range,  before  the  Wee* 
hawken  opened.  The  consternation  of  these  appal- 
ling blows,  following  in  such  rapid  succession,  far 
more  than  the  real  injury  received,  had  rendered  the 
officers  and  crew  incapable  of  further  fighting.1  She 
hauled  down  her  colors,  hoisting  the  white  flag  in 
token  of  surrender.  The  Weehawken  had  captured 
the  greatest  naval  prize  of  the  war  with  four  shots,  in 
fifteen  minutes,  and  the  gallant  Dowries,  in  the  No- 
hant,  had  had  no  need  or  opportunity  to  assist.  The 
Atlanta  was  found  to  be  so  little  hurt  that  in  a  few 
hours  she  steamed  without  assistance  to  Port  Royal. 
There  were  only  sixteen  Confederates  wounded ;  not 
a  man  was  touched  on  board  the  Weehawken. 

Yet  this  famous  vessel,  which  made  such  easy 
work  of  any  enemy  opposed  to  her,  perished,  at 
last,  by  the  faults  of  her  own  construction.  She 
lay  at  anchor  on  the  6th  of  December,  1863,  within 
Charleston  bar,  fast  to  one  of  the  mooring  buoys. 
She  had  been  heavily  loaded  with  shells,  and  the 
weight  caused  her  to  lie  deeper  than  usual  in  the 
water.  The  sea  was  rather  heavy,  and  a  consider- 
able amount  of  water  slopped  into  the  windlass 
room,  unnoticed,  through  her  hawse-holes.  As  the 
sea  became  heavier,  the  waves  began  washing  over 
the  bow  and  came  over  the  high  coaming 2  of  the 

1  Rodgers,  in  his  report,  says :  air  in  them  respirable  in  hot 
"The  first  shot  took  away  their  weather.  "  Without  this  arrange- 
disposition  to  fight,  and  the  third    merit,"  says  Ammen,    "  it  would 

their  ability  to  get  away."  have  been  absolutely  impossible  "  The  ' 

2  This  coaming  had  been  adopt-  to  exist  on  board  of  them,  as  the  Atlantic 
ed  for  the    purpose    of   making  water  was  usually  swashing  over  p.  uq. 
the  monitors  habitable,  and  the  the  decks." 

Vol.  VII.—  6 


chap.  hi.    hatchway.    To  keep  the  water  out  of  the  cabin  the 
iron  door  between  it  and  the  windlass  room  was 
Ammen,    closed;  and  as  the  seas  increased,  while  closing 
Auiiftic    down  the  battle-plate  of  the  hatchway,  several  seas 
v°au£      went  over,  almost  filling  the  room.     The  pumps 
were  put  to  work,  and  at  first  the  executive  officer 
had  no  apprehension  of  the  loss  of  the  vessel. 
Shortly  after  noon,  it  was  found  that  the  Wee- 
hmvken  was  sinking.     The  signal  was  made  that 
"assistance  was  required,"  but  it  was  too  late.   Five 
minutes  afterwards  the  vessel  heeled  to  starboard ; 
the  bow  settled  ;  and,  suddenly  righting  herself,  she 
went  down,  the  top  of  her  smoke-stack  alone  re- 
maining visible.     Four  officers  and  twenty  men 

Ibid.,  ,  , 

pp.  144, 145.  were  drowned. 

1863.  For  some  time  after  the  7th  of  April  General 

Beauregard  was  unable  to  realize  the  full  extent  of 
the  repulse  he  had  inflicted  upon  the  national 
forces.  He  remained  in  constant  expectation  of  a 
renewal  of  the  attack,  and  busied  himself  in  plans 
for  offensive  returns  which  never  were  carried  out. 
On  the  11th  of  April  he  issued  orders  for  a  general 
boarding  assault  from  the  boats  in  Charleston 
harbor  upon  the  Federal  fleet.  In  his  instructions 
to  the  officer  charged  with  the  work  he  says :  "  I 
feel  convinced  that  with  nerve  and  proper  precau- 

gaXto  ^on  on  ^ne  Par^  °^  your  boats'  crews,  and  with  the 
Ap^un,    protection  of  a  kind  Providence,  not  one  of  the 

w86r.      enemy's  monsters,  so  much  boasted  of  by  them, 

p.  895.  "  would  live  to  see  the  next  morning's  sun."  He  was 
so  sure  of  great  results  from  this  plan  that  he  in- 
discreetly boasted  of  them  in  advance,  by  tele- 
graph, to  the  South  Carolina  Senators  at  Richmond. 
"I  have  advised,"  he  says,  "a  secret  expedition 


which  will  shake  Abolitiondom  to  its  foundation   chap.  in. 
if  successful.    My  hopes  are  strong."    But  nothing     Beaure-^ 
came  of  it ;  and,  in  view  of  the  continued  inactivity  ^u^pSi 
of  the  national  forces  on  the  coast,  the  Confederate     1%]8r/ 
Government,  feeling  the  absolute  necessity  of  giv-  Vpi  iJ7" 
ing  every  possible  support  to  Lee  in  the  East  and 
Pemberton  in  the  West,   withdrew  from  Beau- 
regard, early  in  May,  a  part  of  his  force.    This  ex- 
torted from  him  loud  outcry  and  clamor,  in  which 
the  representatives  of  South  Carolina  at  Richmond 
joined.    Mr.  Seddon,  the  Confederate  Secretary  of 
War,  upon  whom  devolved  the  hard  task  of  fight- 
ing, at  the  same  time,  the  Federal  armies  and  the 
Confederate  jealousies,  tried  his  best  to  satisfy  the 
South  Carolinians  of  the  unreasonableness  of  their 
remonstrances.   "  The  enemy  cannot  have,"  he  said,  Mayi3,i863. 
"  more  than  10,000  or  15,000  troops  at  the  utmost.  . . 
After  all  deductions  .  .  .  for  the  troops  sent  back 
to  North  Carolina  and  ordered  to  Mississippi,  there 
will  be  left  for  the  defense  of  Charleston  and  Sa- 
vannah more  than  15,000  of  all  arms.  .  .  Surely 
with  this  force  you  can  be  in  no  serious  danger, 
considering  the  superiority  of  spirit  and  valor  in    geddon  t0 
your  soldiers  and  the  advantages  of  intrenchments,  0Ks,May 
from  a  force,  probably  not  equal,  certainly  not  su-     \}&!' 
perior,  of  the  Yankee  enemy."    This  statement,  re-      p."  940.  " 
serving  the  natural  Southern  boast,  was  as  accurate 
as  it  was  reasonable.    Hunter  had  15,745  effectives, 
as  shown  by  his  May  returns ;  while  Beauregard's  ibid.,  p.  m. 
effective  force,  after  the  withdrawal  of  the  troops 
mentioned,  still  amounted  to  20,045.    Mr.  Seddon  n>ia.,p.953. 
went  on  to  say :  "  I  could  be  scarcely  justified  in 
stating  the  causes  that  preclude  succor  from  Gen- 
eral Lee's  army  and  other  points  to  General  Pern- 


chap.  iit.  berton,  but  you  may  rely  upon  it  that  only  on  the 
fullest  consideration  and  under  the  gravest  neces- 
sity is  the  draft  made  on  Charleston  and  persisted 
Maw.3R.863'  in,  despite  the  earnest  remonstrance  of  gentlemen 
°P!  940. *'  so  highly  esteemed  as  yourselves."  The  campaign 
of  Gettysburg  was  at  that  moment  in  preparation 
in  Kichmond,  and  the  capture  of  Philadelphia  and 
Washington  was  the  dream  which  occupied  the 
minds  of  the  Confederate  Government  on  one 
hand,  while  on  the  other  the  resistless  march  of 
Grant's  legions  across  Mississippi  was  straining  their 
utmost  energies.  But  no  considerations  of  reason 
or  policy  had  any  effect  to  quiet  the  petulant  com- 
plaints of  General  Beauregard.  While  demanding 
the  impossible  from  his  Government  he  writes,  with 
singular  self-deception,  to  the  South  Carolina 
Senators:  "All  I  ask  is  not  to  be  cramped,  de- 
cried, or  unnecessarily  driven  into  opposition  to 
the  Government,  where  a  united  front  and  the  con- 
centrated efforts  of  all  are  absolutely  required  to 
withstand  the  gigantic  storm  which  threatens 
to  engulf  us  at  any  moment.  I  am  well  aware  that 
like  others  I  have  my  faults  and  my  deficiencies, 
Apw4fe1863'  but,  thank  God,  selfishness  and  ambition  form  no 
p.  911.      part  ot  my  nature." 

It  was  not  the  fault  of  General  Hunter  that 
Beauregard  was  left  so  completely  at  leisure  from 
April  to  June.     On  the  very  afternoon  of  the  iron- 
clad attack  on  Fort  Sumter  he  had  massed  his 
troops  on  Folly  Island  ready  to  cross  Light  House 
Hunter     Inlet  and  attack  the  Confederate  positions  on  Morris 
president,   Island.   The  boats  were  ready,  the  men  under  arms 
i863ayw.2k  for   crossing,   when   they    were  recalled    by    the 
pp?  455, 456.  announcement  of  Admiral  Du  Pont  that  he  had 


resolved  to  retire.    On  the  29th  of  April  Hunter   chap.  hi. 
proposed  to  the  admiral  a  general  demonstration 
on  the  Savannah  River  which  Du  Pont  declined, 
saying  that  nothing  but  a  feint  could  be  made     April  29, 
and  that  that  would  be  regarded  as  a  repulse  by  lses.  w.  r. 
the  rebels  as  well  as  in  the  North.      Hunter  at  pp-  «*,  ^. 
last  being  satisfied  that  the  rebels  had  already  sent  ibid.,  p.  456. 
away  from  Charleston  and  Savannah  all  the  troops 
not  absolutely  needed  to  garrison  the  defenses, 
therefore  begged  to  be  relieved  from  his  orders  to 
cooperate  with  the  navy,  in  which  case  he  promised 
to  place  "  a  column  of  10,000  of  the  best-drilled  sol- 
diers in  the  country"  at  once  in  the  heart  of  Georgia. 
"  Nothing  is  truer,"  he  says,  "  than  that  this  re- 
bellion has  left  the  Southern  States  a  mere  hollow 
shell."  He  promised  with  this  column  "to  penetrate 
into  Georgia,  produce  a  practical  dissolution  of  the 
slave  system  there,  destroy  all  railroad  communica- 
tion along  the  Eastern  portion  of  the  State,  and  lay   Hunter  to 
waste  all  stores  which  can  possibly  be  used  for  the  May^isea 
sustenance  of  the  rebellion."    But  even  while  the  pp-  456,'W 
ardent  veteran  was  thus  begging  for  a  dissolution 
of  the  partnership  which  bound  him  to  the  ad- 
miral, the  removal  both  of  himself  and  Du  Pont 
from  command    had    already   been    determined 
upon  at  Washington.     Admiral  Foote  had  been 
designated  to  relieve  Du  Pont.    He  dying  on  the 
26th  of  June,  Admiral  Dahlgren  was   appointed       i863. 
in  his  place ;   while    General  Q.   A.    Gillmore,  a 
brilliant  and  energetic  young  officer  of  engineers, 
was,  on  the  3d  of  June,  appointed  to  relieve  Gen- 
eral Hunter  in  the  command  of  the  Department  of 
the  South.    The  President,  on  the  30th  of  June, 
wrote  to  General  Hunter :  "  I  assure  you,  and  you 



Chap.  III. 

Lincoln  to 
June  30, 

1863.    W.  R. 

Vol.  XIV., 
p.  470. 



of  the 


Dec.  7,  1863. 

may  feel  authorized  in  stating,  that  the  recent 
change  of  commanders  in  the  Department  of  the 
South  was  made  for  no  reasons  which  convey  any 
imputation  upon  your  known  energy,  efficiency,  and 
patriotism  ;  but  for  causes  which  seemed  sufficient, 
while  they  were  in  no  degree  incompatible  with  the 
respect  and  esteem  in  which  I  have  always  held 
you  as  a  man  and  an  officer."  The  Secretary  of  the 
Navy,  at  the  same  time,  sent  an  equally  cordial 
and  complimentary  letter  to  Admiral  Du  Pont,  com- 
mending the  ceaseless  vigilance  which  had  ended 
in  the  destruction  of  the  Nashville  and  the  timely 
measures  to  which  were  due  the  capture  of  the 
Atlanta.  "You  may  well  regard  this,"  he  says, 
"  and  we  may  with  pleasure  look  upon  it,  as  a  bril- 
liant termination  of  a  command  gallantly  com- 
menced and  conducted  for  nearly  two  years  with 
industry,  energy,  and  ability." 



THE  President  did  not  leave  General  Hooker  in  chap.  iv. 
ignorance  of  any  of  his  sentiments  towards 
him.  On  the  day  that  he  appointed  him  Com-  Jan.  26,1863. 
mander  of  the  Army  of  the  Potomac  he  wrote  him 
the  following  letter,  which  is  equally  remarkable 
for  its  frankness  and  its  magnanimity:  "I  have 
placed  you  at  the  head  of  the  Army  of  the  Poto- 
mac. Of  course  I  have  done  this  upon  what  appears 
to  me  to  be  sufficient  reasons,  and  yet  I  think  it 
best  for  you  to  know  that  there  are  some  things  in 
regard  to  which  I  am  not  quite  satisfied  with  you. 
I  believe  you  to  be  a  brave  and  skillful  soldier, 
which,  of  course,  I  like.  I  also  believe  you  do  not 
mix  politics  with  your  profession,  in  which  you  are 
right.  You  have  confidence  in  yourself,  which  is  a 
valuable,  if  not  an  indispensable,  quality.  You  are 
ambitious,  which,  within  reasonable  bounds,  does 
good  rather  than  harm ;  but  I  think  that  during 
General  Burn  side's  command  of  the  army,  you 
have  taken  counsel  of  your  ambition,  and  thwarted 
him  as  much  as  you  could,  in  which  you  did  a 
great  wrong  to  the  country  and  to  a  most  meritori- 
ous and  honorable  brother  officer.  I  have  heard,  in 
such  a  way  as  to  believe  it,  of  your  recently  saying 



Chap.  IV. 

Lincoln  to 
Jan.  26, 

1863.    W.  R. 

Vol.  XXV., 

Part  II., 

p.  i. 




on  Conduct 

of  the  War, 


Part  I., 

p.  112. 

that  both  the  army  and  the  Government  needed  a 
dictator.  Of  course,  it  was  not  for  this,  but  in 
spite  of  it,  that  I  have  given  you  the  command. 
Only  those  generals  who  gain  successes  can  set  up 
dictators.  What  I  now  ask  of  you  is  military  suc- 
cess, and  I  will  risk  the  dictatorship.  The  Govern- 
ment will  support  you  to  the  utmost  of  its  ability, 
which  is  neither  more  nor  less  than  it  has  done  and 
will  do  for  all  commanders.  I  much  fear  that  the 
spirit,  which  you  have  aided  to  infuse  into  the 
army,  of  criticizing  their  commander  and  with- 
holding confidence  from  him,  will  now  turn  upon 
you.  I  shall  assist  you  as  far  as  I  can  to  put  it 
down.  Neither  you  nor  Napoleon,  if  he  were  alive 
again,  could  get  any  good  out  of  an  army  while 
such  a  spirit  prevails  in  it.  And  now  beware  of 
rashness.  Beware  of  rashness,  but  with  energy  and 
sleepless  vigilance  go  forward  and  give  us  victories." 
A  friend,  to  whom  Hooker  showed  this  letter  im- 
mediately upon  its  reception,  says  it  made  a  deep 
impression  upon  the  general.  While  he  was  some- 
what chagrined  by  its  severe  chiding  he  was 
touched  by  its  tone  of  mingled  authority  and  kind- 
ness. "  He  talks  to  me  like  a  father,"  the  general 
said.  "  I  shall  not  answer  this  letter  until  I  have 
won  him  a  great  victory." 

He  immediately  went  about  his  work  in  the  most 
faithful  and  efficient  manner.  The  spirit  of  gloom 
and  demoralization  which  other  observers  had 
noticed  in  the  Army  of  the  Potomac  became  more 
evident  to  him,  now  that  he  had  command  of  the 
whole  army,  than  it  had  been  while  he  commanded 
one  of  the  Grand  Divisions.  "  Desertions,"  he  says, 
"  were  at  the  rate  of  about  two  hundred  a  day."    A 


large  number  of  the  officers  were  openly  hostile  to    chap.  iv. 
the  policy  of  the  Government;  there  was  a  spirit  of 
dormant  revolt  which  began  to  show  itself  after  the 
Proclamation  of  Emancipation.    General  Hooker 
felt  that  the  first  thing  to  be  done  was  to  check 
desertion  and  to  renew,  as  far  as  possible,  the  morale 
of  the  army.     He  found  absent  from  their  com- 
mands some  3000  officers,  and  80,000  privates.   By 
a  judicious  system  of  punishment  and  of  furloughs 
he  corrected  this  evil  to  a  great  extent.  He  reorgan- 
ized his  staff  departments.    To  occupy  the  troops 
who  were  rusting  in  idleness,  he  greatly  increased 
the  amount  of  drill  and  field  exercise.    He  con- 
solidated the  cavalry  and  improved  its  efficiency ; 
by  frequent  small  expeditions  and  skirmishes  he 
brought  up  the  spirit  and  discipline  of  this  arm  to 
a  higher  point  than  it  had  before  reached.    In  the     Hooter 
early  part  of  April  he  was  able  to  say  that  he  had  TRe5o?t^' 
under  his  command  "  a  living  army,  and  one  well  onTSict 
worthy    of    the  republic."     On  one  occasion  he  °    lsk ar' 
called  it  "the  finest  army  on  the  planet."  p-hs." 

This  necessary  and  valuable  work  occupied  him 
during  three  months  of  the  late  winter  and  early 
spring.    About  the  middle  of  April  he  felt  that  an       i863. 
active  movement  was  required.    The  troops  were    «Battie8 
ready  for   it   and  public   opinion   demanded    it.    Leaded." 
He  had  an  army  of  about  130,000  men  effective  for    Vp*237?" 
service ;  that  of  General  Lee  on  the  opposite  side  of 
the  river  had  been  reduced  by  Longstreet's  depart- 
ure for  the  South  to  not  less  than  60,000.  iwd.,P.23a 

Hooker  was  confident  of  success  —  perhaps  too 
confident.  He  wrote  to  the  President  on  the  11th 
announcing  his  intended  movement,  and  saying: 
"  I  am  apprehensive  that  he  [the  enemy]  will  retire 


chap.  iv.    from  before  me  the  moment  I  should  succeed  in 
crossing  the  river,  and  over  the  shortest  line  to 

voi^xxv.,  Richmond,  and  thus  escape  being  seriously  crip- 

Pp.rti9""    pled."    He  hoped,  however,  to  delay  and  check 

him  with  cavalry,  and  thus  get  a  fight  out  of  him. 

Api.  11,1863.  The  President,  on  the  same  day,  made  the  follow- 
ing memorandum  showing  his  clear  perception  of 
the  immediate  work  in  hand : 

"My  opinion  is  that,  just  now,  with  the  enemy 
directly  ahead  of  us,  there  is  no  eligible  route  for  us 
into  Eichmond;  and  consequently  a  question  of 
preference  between  the  Rappahannock  route  and 
the  James  River  route  is  a  contest  about  nothing. 
Hence  our  prime  object  is  the  enemy's  army  in 
front  of  us,  and  is  not  with  or  about  Richmond 
at  all,  unless  it  be  incidental  to  the  main  object. 
"  What  then  ?  The  two  armies  are  face  to  face 
with  a  narrow  river  between  them.  Our  communi- 
cations are  shorter  and  safer  than  are  those  of  the 
enemy.  For  this  reason  we  can,  with  equal  powers, 
fret  him  more  than  he  can  us.  I  do  not  think  that 
by  raids  towards  Washington  he  can  derange  the 
Army  of  the  Potomac  at  all.  He  has  no  distant 
operations  which  can  call  any  of  the  Army  of  the 
Potomac  away;  we  have  such  operations  which 
may  call  him  away,  at  least  in  part.  While  he 
remains  intact,  I  do  not  think  we  should  take  the 
disadvantage  of  attacking  him  in  his  intrench- 
ments;  but  we  should  continually  harass  and  menace 
him,  so  that  he  shall  have  no  leisure  nor  safety  in 
^mo11'  sending  away  detachments.  If  he  weakens  him- 
raMsm*     self,  then  pitch  into  him." 

The  plan  of  campaign  which  Hooker  adopted  was 
simple,  bold,  and  perfectly  practicable.    The  fail- 


ure  of  Burnside  had  eliminated  several  elements  chap.iv. 
from  the  problem.  There  were  no  practicable  fords 
below  Fredericksburg  and  none  above  Fredericks- 
burg as  far  as  the  mouth  of  the  Rapidan.  Hooker, 
writing  to  a  friend  about  this  time,  said:  "You  TegMmray. 
must  be  patient  with  me.  .  .  Remember  that  my  g£  coming 
army  is  at  the  bottom  of  a  well  and  the  enemy  of  tl18e65War' 
holds  the  top."  There  were  many  points  where  pfnei' 
crossing  of  the  river  was  possible,  but  it  was  almost 
hopeless  to  think  of  gaining  a  footing  on  the  hills 
beyond,  exposed  as  the  troops  would  be  for  a  long 
distance  to  a  concentrated  artillery  fire.  The  first 
place  above  the  city  where  favorable  conditions  of 
approach  were  to  be  found  was  Banks's  Ford, 
about  six  miles  by  the  road.  This  was  heavily  forti- 
fied ;  two  of  the  enemy's  lines  were  so  close  to  each 
other  that  both  could  bring  their  fire  at  once  upon 
troops  crossing  the  river.  About  seven  miles  fur- 
ther there  was  another  practicable  approach  to  the 
stream,  the  United  States  Mine  Ford,  also  strongly 
fortified  with  long  lines  of  infantry  parapets.  The 
enemy  had  not  thought  it  worth  while  to  expend 
much  labor  on  the  Rappahannock  above  the  mouth 
of  the  Rapidan;  an  attack  involving  so  great  a 
detour  and  the  crossing  of  two  difficult  rivers 
seemed  to  him  so  improbable  that  he  took  no  mea- 
sures to  prevent  it.  It  was  this  route,  therefore, 
that  Hooker  wisely  chose.  He  resolved  to  threaten 
the  enemy's  right  wing  by  a  heavy  demonstration 
under  General  John  Sedgwick,  with  three  corps,  a 
few  miles  below  Fredericksburg,  while  he  threw  a 
strong  force  across  the  Rappahannock  at  Kelly's 
Ford  and  essayed,  by  a  rapid  march  down  the  Rap- 
pahannock, to  "knock  away"  the  enemy's  force 


chap.  iv.  holding  the  United  States  and  Banks's  Fords  by  at- 
tacking them  in  rear,  and  as  soon  as  these  fords 
were  re-opened  to  reenforce  the  marching  columns 
sufficiently  for  them  to  attack  and  rout  the  rebel 
army  wherever  they  should  meet  it  outside  of  its 

He  had  intended  to  anticipate  this  movement  of 
his  infantry  by  a  great  cavalry  raid  through  Vir- 
ginia. He  gave  orders  to  General  Stoneman  on  the 
1863.  12th  of  April  to  take  his  entire  cavalry  force  to 
turn  the  enemy's  position  on  his  left,  to  throw  a 
force  between  him  and  Richmond,  cutting  off  his 
supplies,  intercepting  his  retreat,  and  injuring  him 
in  every  way  possible  ;  and  enjoined  upon  him  the 
April  12,     utmost  vigilance  and  energy.     "Let  your  watch - 

v^i.'  xxv.;  word  be  fight,  and  let  all  your  orders  be  fight, 
p.  io66.'  fight,  fight."  In  pursuance  of  these  orders  the 
cavalry  left  their  camps  the  next  day ;  but  on  the 
second  day  out  a  great  rain-storm  came  on.  The 
river  became  impassable  and  every  ravine  turned 
to  a  foaming  torrent.     The  expedition  was  there- 

Aprii,  1863.  fore  compelled  to  wait.     A  start  was  made  on  the 

voi.  xxv.,  28th,  and  on  the  29th  the  cavalry  corps  crossed  the 
p.  loss'.'     Eappahannock. 

The  infantry  movement  was  executed  with  as- 
tonishing celerity  and  success.  The  general  had 
kept  secret  from  his  corps  commanders  the  de- 
tails of  his  plan.  Three  corps  were  put  in  motion 
on  the  27th  of  April ;  by  a  rapid  march  on  the  28th 
they  crossed  the  Rappahannock  on  a  canvas  pon- 
toon bridge,  finding  nothing  but  a  small  picket  to 
oppose  them.  They  crossed  the  Rapid  an  on  the 
morning  of  the  30th.  Lee,  whose  attention  had 
been  diverted  by  the  noisy  demonstration  which 


Sedgwick  was  making  below  the  river,  knew  noth-  chap.  iv. 
ing  of  the  more  formidable  enemy  approaching  on 
his  left.  The  army  coming  down  the  right  bank 
of  the  Rappahannock  uncovered  the  United  States 
Ford,  as  Hooker  had  anticipated,  and  the  engineers 
rapidly  bridged  the  Rappahannock  at  that  point. 
So  far  the  march  of  Hooker  had  been  one  of  the 
most  successful  made  in  the  war.  The  rebel  gen- 
eral was  completely  deceived.  When  he  heard  of 
the  turning  column  on  the  Rappahannock,  he  im- 
agined it  was  on  the  way  to  G-ordonsville,  and  he 
sent  his  cavalry  upon  that  track  and  therefore  lost 
the  use  of  it  for  twenty-four  hours.  If  Hooker 
had  continued  his  march  with  the  same  success  and 
swiftness  with  which  it  was  begun,  it  is  hard  to  see 
how  Lee  could  have  escaped  a  crushing  defeat. 
On  the  evening  of  the  30th  Hooker  had  four  corps  April,  lsea 
at  Chancellorsville ;  three  roads  run  from  there  to 
Fredericksburg ;  on  the  right  a  plank  road,  on  the 
left  a  road  skirting  the  river,  and  between  them  a 
road  called  the  old  turnpike.  Here  he  wasted  the 
greater  part  of  an  afternoon  and  a  morning  — 
hours  of  inestimable  importance. 

It  was  eleven  o'clock  on  the  1st  of  May  when 
G-eneral  Hooker  began  his  direct  movement  upon  the 
enemy's  rear.  Slocum's  corps,  followed  by  that  of 
Howard,  had  the  extreme  right,  Sykes  and  Han- 
cock took  the  turnpike,  Griffin  and  Humphreys  of 
Meade's  corps  went  by  the  river  road,  each  column 
preceded  by  a  detachment  of  Pleasonton's  cav- 
alry. Sickles's  corps,  which  had  just  arrived,  was 
held  in  reserve.  Any  criticism  of  the  operations 
of  armies  in  this  country  would  be  unjust  if  we 
did  not  keep  constantly  in  mind  the  nature  of  the 




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tines  of  battle  May  ist 
Lines  of  Battle  May  2d 
Lines  of  Battle  May  3d 
Lines  of  Battle  May  4th 


R.  H.  Anderson's  Division a 

McLaws's  Division * 

A.  P.  Hill's  Division    e 

Colston's  Division d 

Rodes's  Division e 

Early's  Division / 


tst  Corps,  Reynolds / 

Corps,  Couch b 

3d  Corps,  Sickles j 

5th  Corps,.  Meade j 

6th  Corps,  Sedgwick. 6 

nth  Corps,  Howard // 

12th  Corps,  Slocnm is 




Chap.  IV. 


"  Chan- 
and  Gettys- 
burg," p.  12. 


G.  K. 

W.  R. 

Vol.  XXV., 

Part  I., 

p.  193. 

ground.  Except  for  rare  clearings,  the  whole 
country  in  which  Hooker  now  found  himself  was 
a  dense  and  tangled  forest,  in  every  part  of  which 
the  axman  had  to  be  employed  before  the  artiller- 
ist could  be  made  available ;  cavalry  were  for  the 
most  part  of  no  use ;  the  troops  could  not  be  seen 
by  their  officers ;  a  regiment  deployed  as  skirmish- 
ers disappeared  from  the  sight  of  their  colonel  as 
if  the  earth  had  swallowed  them.  After  half  an 
hour's  march  through  the  thicket  the  best  equipped 
troops  would  reappear  in  rags  and  tatters.  Gen- 
eral Doubleday  says,  "It  was  worse  than  fighting  in 
a  dense  fog."  The  frightful  reverberation  of  battle 
among  the  trees  was  enough  to  appal  the  stoutest 
heart,  yet  a  few  hundred  yards  away  nothing  would 
be  heard.  The  generals  on  either  side,  shut  out 
from  sight  or  from  hearing,  had  to  trust  to  the  un- 
yielding bravery  of  their  men  till  couriers  brought 
word  which  way  the  conflict  was  tending,  before 
they  could  send  the  needed  support. 

It  was  through  such  a  wilderness  as  this  that 
Hooker  advanced  his  army  on  the  1st  of  May. 
The  enemy  had  of  course  to  contend  with  the 
same  difficulties,  with  this  advantage  on  their  side 
that  they  knew  the  by-roads  of  the  whole  region. 
But  having  advanced  there  could  be  no  question  that 
Hooker  should  have  continued  as  far  as  possible. 
Instead  of  doing  this,  he  acted  with  unusual  pru- 
dence and  with  something  like  hesitation.  Sykes 
in  the  center  met  with  some  opposition  from 
McLaws.  Slocum  was  not  abreast  of  him  on  his 
right,  while  Meade  was  too  far  away  on  the  river 
road  to  connect  with  him ;  he  therefore  fell  back 
upon  Hancock,  who  pushed  forward  and  checked 



the  enemy.  Now,  if  ever,  was  the  need  and  justifica- 
tion for  a  great  effort.  Hooker  was  almost  through 
the  worst  of  the  woods  ;  Meade  was  nearly  in  sight 
of  the  important  position  of  Banks's  ford  which  was 
feebly  defended ;  by  pushing  his  forces  resolutely 
forward  on  all  three  roads,  General  Hooker  could 
have  gained  an  advantageous  position  on  open 
ground  beyond.  "  The  troops  were  in  fine  spirits," 
says  Humphreys,  "and  we  wanted  to  fight."  "  We 
ought  to  have  held  our  advanced  positions,"  says 
Hancock,  "  and  still  kept  pushing  on."  General 
Warren,  Chief  of  Engineers,  was  of  the  same  opin- 
ion; he  urged  Couch  not  to  abandon  his  position 
without  further  orders.  Couch  asked  for  per- 
mission to  remain,  which  was  flatly  refused,  and 
the  army  fell  back  to  the  position  near  Chancellors- 
ville  which  they  had  left  in  the  morning.1  This 
movement  did  not  improve  the  spirits  of  the  troops, 
and  when  Humphreys  came  back  from  the  river 
road  with  his  division,  his  keen,  soldierly  eye  recog- 
nized clearly  the  fault  of  the  position.  The  army 
was  drawn  in  too  closely  in  every  direction  ;  it  had 
not  the  look  of  an  army  ready  for  battle  ;  "  they 
were  in  no  confusion,"  he  says,  "  but  they  seemed 
to  be  unoccupied." 

1  General  Hooker  claimed  that 
he  retired  because  on  those  nar- 
row roads  he  could  get  but  few 
troops  into  position,  and  nearer 
Chancellorsville  his  position  was 
much  stronger. —  Hooker,  Testi- 
mony, Eeport  Committee  on  Con- 
duct of  the  War,  1865.  Part  I., 
pp.  125-142. 

General  Lee  in  his  report  con- 
firms this;  he  says,  "Here  [at 
Chancellorsville]  the  enemy  had 
assumed  a  position  of  great  nat- 

Vol.  VII.— 7 

ural  strength,  surrounded  on  all 
sides  by  a  dense  forest,  filled 
with  a  tangled  undergrowth,  in 
the  midst  of  which  breastworks 
of  logs  had  been  constructed,  with 
trees  felled  in  front  so  as  to  form 
an  almost  impenetrable  abatis. 
His  artillery  swept  the  few  narrow 
roads  by  which  his  position  could 
be  approached  from  the  front  and 
commanded  the  adjacent  woods." 
—  General  Lee,  Report.  W.  R. 
Vol.  XXV.,  Part  I.,  p.  797. 

Chap.  IV. 




on  Conduct 

of  the  War, 


Part  I., 

p.  63. 
Ibid.,  p.  66. 

"  Battles 



Vol.  III., 

p.  159. 



on  Conduct 

of  the  War, 


Part  I., 

p.  64. 


chap.  iv.  The  1st  of  May  thus  passed  without  any  progress 
1863.  having  been  made ;  the  brilliant  beginning  of 
Hooker's  campaign  had  not  borne  the  fruit  that 
was  fairly  to  have  been  expected.  Still  the  position 
was  a  strong  one,  and  with  a  few  hours  of  work, 
where  it  was  most  needed,  the  Army  of  the  Potomac 
would  have  been  safe  from  any  attack  the  enemy 
was  able  to  make.  But  unfortunately  the  work 
was  not  done ;  the  extreme  right,  under  General 
Howard,  commanding  the  Eleventh  Corps,  was  ab- 
solutely unprotected.  All  his  defensive  works  were 
in  his  immediate  front ;  his  right  wing  was  in  the 
air.  This  point  of  weakness  in  the  Union  line  was 
discovered  by  General  Stuart  and  made  known  to 
Greneral  Lee  on  the  evening  of  the  1st.  A  flank 
attack  upon  the  Federal  right  wing  had  always 
been  his  favorite  manoeuvre,  and  the  true  and  tried 
weapon  with  which  he  had  so  often  succeeded  was 
ready  to  his  hand.  He  proposed  to  Stonewall  Jack- 
son that  he  should  take  his  entire  corps  round  to 
the  right  and  rear  of  Hooker's  army.  Jackson 
entered  into  the  plan  with  the  greatest  enthusiasm, 
and  at  early  dawn  on  the  morning  of  the  2d  he 
started  upon  this  bold  and  perilous  enterprise  with 
26,000  troops.  He  moved  by  a  zig-zag  route,  south- 
west, and  then  northwest  across  the  Federal  front, 
which  in  general  faced  south,  leaving  General  Lee 
with  a  mere  curtain  of  soldiers  to  occupy  during 
his  absence  the  attention  of  Hooker  and  his  army. 
Jackson's  movement,  though  hazardous,  was  not  so 
desperate  as  it  has  been  sometimes  represented. 
Lee  had  been  convinced  the  night  before  that  it 
was  impossible  for  him  to  carry  Hooker's  line  by  a 
direct  attack  in  front ;  he  had  therefore  resolved 


upon  this  flanking  attempt  as  the  only  resource  left  chap.  iv. 
him.  In  case  of  the  repulse  of  Jackson,  Lee  con- 
sidered that  he  still  had  his  chance  of  retreat  by 
the  Richmond  Railroad,  and  Jackson  could  with  p.  674. 
little  difficulty  have  made  his  way  back  to  Gordons- 
ville,  and  with  their  rapid  movements  they  could 
have  reunited  their  columns  by  the  Central  Rail- 
road. The  flanking  movement  did  not  pass  un- 
detected. Jackson's  column  was  seen  in  the  early 
morning  passing  a  hill  in  front  of  General  Birney 
of  Sickles's  corps,  who  had  been  detached  to  fill  the 
gap  between  Howard  and  Slocum.  He  immediately 
reported  his  discovery  to  General  Hooker,  who  was 
unable  at  the  moment  to  make  up  his  mind  whether 
it  indicated  an  attack  upon  his  right  flank  or  a 
movement  in  retreat  of  the  enemy.1  In  fact,  every 
act  of  his  during  those  three  days  indicated  a  singu- 
lar indecision  entirely  at  variance  with  what  was 
previously  known  of  his  character.  Yet  he  does 
not  deserve  all  the  blame  for  the  disaster  of  the 
2d  of  May,  for,  immediately  on  receiving  Bir-  i863. 
ney's  report,  he  sent  an  urgent  order  to  Slocum 
and  to  Howard  to  examine  their  ground  carefully 
and  to  take  all  possible  measures  against  an  attack 
in  flank.2  He  told  them  that  the  right  of  their  line 
did  not  appear  to  be  strong  enough;  no  artificial 
defenses  worth  naming  had  been  thrown  up ;  they 

1  At  four  o'clock,  the  hour  when  2  General    Howard    says    this 

Stonewall  Jackson  was  forming  order  never  reached  him.     Gen* 

hislines  across  the  turnpike  for  his  eral   Schurz,    on    the    contrary, 

rush  upon  our  right,  Hooker  wrote  says  that  it  arrived  at  Howard's 

to  Sedgwick,"  We  know  the  enemy  headquarters    about    noon  or  a 

is  flying,  trying  to  save  his  trains,  little  after,  and  that  he  read  it 

Two    of  Sickles's  divisions   are  to  Howard.    For  the  statements 

among  them." — Sedgwick,  Testi-  of  Howard,  Hooker,  and  Schurz 

mony.  Report,  Committee  on  Con-  see  "  Battles  and  Leaders,"  Vol. 

duct  of  War,  1865.  Partl.,p.95.  III.,  pp.  196,  219,  220. 

p.  219. 


chap. iv.    had  not  troops   enough   on   their  flank;  and  he 

thought  they  were  not  so  favorably  posted  as  might 

be.  He  had  good  reason  to  suppose  that  the  enemy 

May  2, 1863.  was  moving  to  our  right,  and  he  concluded  with  an 

order  to  "advance  your  pickets  for  purposes  of 

voiWxxv.,  observation,  as  far  as   may  be   safe,  in  order  to 

PpT36?"    obtain  timely  information  of  their  approach." 

With  these  urgent  orders  in  his  hands,  supple- 
mented by  his  own  observation  of  the  movement 

"Bandle8     °f  a  column   of   Confederate   infantry  westward, 

voifm"  which  he  reported  to  Hooker  about  eleven  o'clock, 
General  Howard  did  little  to  guard  against  the 
coming  danger.  In  view  of  the  warnings  he  had 
received,  he  faced,  it  is  true,  two  regiments  to  the 
west,  but  this  amounted  to  the  same  as  doing 
nothing;  his  pickets  consisted  of  only  two  companies 
and  he  had  no  grand  guards  to  support  them.  Gen- 
erals Devens  and  Schurz  thought  our  right  flank 
too  much  in  the  air,  but  Howard  appeared  to  have  a 
fixed  idea  that  the  attack  of  the  enemy,  if  made  at 
all,  would  be  in  his  front,  and  he  was  confident  of  his 
ability  to  repulse  any  force  that  could  come  against 
him  from  that  quarter.  He  waited,  therefore,  in 
perfect  security,  until  about  six  o'clock.  At  this 
hour  his  command,  thinking  the  day  was  to  go  by 
without  their  participating  in  the  battle,  the  noise 
of  which  they  had  heard  fitfully  rising  and  falling 
in  the  distance  on  their  left,  were  quite  at  their 
ease:  the  soldiers  were  cooking  their  suppers; 
most  of  the  regiments  had  stacked  their  arms ; 
many  were  scattered  under  the  trees  playing  cards; 
when  all  at  once  they  were  startled  by  a  strange 
invasion — deer,  rabbits,  and  birds  came  leaping  and 
flying  in  a  panic  through  the  thick  brush  towards 


them,  and  behind  these  came  their  scanty  pickets  chap.  iv. 
and  outposts,  with  Stonewall  Jackson's  army  corps,  May  2,  lsea, 
three  lines  deep,  at  their  heels. 

As  soon  as  Birney  had  discovered  the  march  of 
Jackson  across  his  front,  Sickles  took  Whipple's 
division  to  reenf orce  his  left,  and  proceeded,  cutting 
and  slashing  his  way  through  the  hilly  wilderness, 
to  attack  the  flank  of  the  force  he  saw  moving  be- 
fore him;  but  by  the  time  he  reached  Jackson's 
line  of  march,  the  greater  part  of  his  corps  had 
passed  on.  There  was  some  sharp  and  successful 
skirmishing  with  the  rear-guard ;  Jackson's  trains 
were  driven  off  to  the  road  further  south,  and  a 
considerable  number  of  prisoners  were  taken  by 
Sickles.  He  continually  reported  progress,  and 
finding  himself  in  such  a  favorable  position  to 
operate  on  either  hand,  he  begged  for  orders  to 
strike  McLaws  and  Anderson  on  his  left  flank,  or 
to  proceed  with  reinforcements  against  Jackson's 
rear  on  his  right;  but  as  Lee  had  begun  at  this 
time  a  noisy  demonstration  upon  Hooker's  left  to 
aid  the  attack  of  Jackson  on  the  right,  Hooker  suf- 
fered, for  the  second  time  that  day,  from  an  attack 
of  indecision,  which  had  deplorable  results.  Before 
he  had  clearly  made  up  his  mind  what  to  do,  the 
Eleventh  Corps  was  flying  in  panic  in  upon  his 
center.  The  victorious  troops  of  Jackson,  inspired 
by  a  great  success,  which  had  instantly  cured  all 
fatigue  of  the  forced  march  of  fifteen  miles,  had 
taken  in  reverse  the  entire  right  flank  of  the  army, 
and  twilight  was  coming  down  on  a  scene  of  con- 
fusion and  ruin. 

Then,  as  often  before  and  since,  in  the  history  of 
our  war,  it  became  the  duty  of  subordinates,  with- 


chap.  iv.  out  orders,  to  rectify  the  errors  of  their  superiors 
and  to  save  the  army  from  destruction.  In  the 
midst  of  the  wreck  and  havoc  created  by  Jackson's 
charge,  several  of  the  generals  on  the  right,  in- 
cluding General  Howard,  did  their  best  to  stay  the 
incoming  flood  of  the  enemy ;  and  the  prominent 
officers  who  held  the  center  of  the  field  also  kept 
their  senses  about  them,  and  with  admirable  cool- 
ness and  conduct  executed  what  orders  they  were 
able  to  get.  General  Alfred  Pleasonton,  of  the 
cavalry,  had  been  sent  to  operate  with  Sickles  in 
front,  but  when  he  reached  him,  finding  the  woods 
in  that  part  of  the  field  absolutely  impassable,  he 
started  back,  and  at  Hazel  Grove  a  part  of  the 
Eleventh  Corps  passed  him  in  full  retreat.  He  had 
only  two  regiments  of  cavalry  with  him,  but  these 
and  twenty-two  guns  of  different  batteries  were  very 
efficient.  A  gallant  charge  by  the  Eighth  Pennsyl- 
vania Cavalry,  under  command  of  Major  Pennock 
Huey,  in  which  Major  Peter  Keenan  and  other 
officers  were  killed,  checked  for  several  minutes 
the  advance  of  Jackson's  corps;  the  twenty-two 
guns  at  Hazel  Grove  were  brought  into  position, 
and  held  their  place  with  wonderful  steadiness  amid 
the  confused  rush  of  fugitives  from  the  right ;  and 
as  the  right  of  Jackson's  advancing  lines  emerged 
from  the  woods,  they  were  received  with  a  fire  so 
intense  and  so  well  sustained  that  they  made  no 
further  progress  until  nightfall.1     Sickles  had  been 

1  See  General  Pleasonton's  tes-  Eighth  Pennsylvania  Cavalry  at 

timony  before  the  Committee  on  Chancellorsville  " ;   and  also  the 

Conduct  of  theWar,Keport,  18 65,  statements   of    the   two  officers 

Part  I.,  p.  26  et  seq. ;  a  volume  above,    and    several     others    in 

by  Brevet  Brigadier-General  Pen-  "  Battles  and  Leaders,"  Vol.  III., 

nock  Huey:  "  The  Charge  of  the  pp.  172-188. 


left  in  a  critical  position,  far  in  front  of  the  rest  of  chap.  iv. 
the  Union  line,  with  Jackson's  corps  on  his  right  and 
rear;  gnided  only  by  the  sonnd  and  the  flash  of 
Pleasonton's  guns,  he  made  his  way  back  through 
the  wilderness,  and  afterwards  by  a  gallant  bayo- 
net attack  cleared  the  space  to  the  turnpike. 

In  this  twilight  fighting  the  Confederates  met  May  2,  i863. 
with  a  personal  loss  equal  to  that  of  an  army  corps. 
In  the  impetuosity  with  which  Jackson's  corps  at- 
tacked, their  first  line,  commanded  by  Rodes,  became 
mixed  and  mingled  with  their  second,  commanded 
by  Colston.  The  nature  of  the  ground,  broken  up 
by  dense  thickets,  still  further  disordered  the  line, 
and  Jackson's  own  fury  and  ardor  perhaps  contrib- 
uted to  the  confusion.  He  kept  right  up  with  his 
own  advance,  mingling  his  frequent  cries  of  "  press 
forward  "  with  short  prayers  of  praise  and  thanks- 
giving, which  he  uttered  with  hand  and  face  up- 
lifted to  the  starlit  sky.  At  last,  perceiving  that  ^elf' 
his  lines  were  for  the  moment  in  hopeless  disorder, 
he  directed  General  A.  P.  Hill  to  divide  his  com- 
mand, filing  to  the  right  and  left  of  the  highway  to 
replace  those  of  Rodes  and  Colston,  who  were  to  be 
withdrawn  to  the  second  line.  While  this  was 
being  done  he  rode  forward,  in  his  unrestrainable 
impatience,  one  hundred  yards  beyond  his  line  of 
battle.  All  at  once  he  found  himself  under  the  fire 
of  the  Union  guns.  Turning  to  regain  his  lines  he 
was  shot  by  his  own  men  and  mortally  wounded. 
He  died  a  few  days  later  at  Guiney's  Station.  Mario,  186a 

General  Hooker,  somewhat  shaken  by  the  un- 
toward course  of  things  for  the  last  twenty-four 
hours,  and  not  appreciating  fully  the  value  of  the 
position  held  by  his  troops  at  Hazel  Grove,  the 


chap.  iv.  center  and  key  of  the  field,  on  the  evening  of  the 
2d,  had  ordered  his  entire  line  to  be  withdrawn  to 
a  position  nearer  Chancellorsville. 

The  damage  incurred  in  the  rout  of  the  Eleventh 
Corps,  great  as  it  was,  had  been  almost  repaired 

May,  1863.  before  the  morning  of  the  3d  by  the  readiness  and 
energy  of  Pleasonton,  Sickles,  and  Hiram  G.  Berry 
who  was  killed  in  the  afternoon  of  that  day.  The 
lines  which  they  formed  during  the  night,  if  held, 
would  have  insured  the  safety  of  the  army  during 
the  next  day,  especially  as  J.  E.  B.  Stuart,  who 
succeeded  Jackson  in  command  of  his  corps, 
abandoned  Jackson's  plan  of  turning  the  Federal 
right  and  occupying  the  fords,  and  devoted  him- 
self to  desperate  assaults  directly  in  his  front 
against  the  Union  lines  near  the  Chancellor  House, 
and  to  establishing  communication  of  his  right 
with  the  left  of  Lee's  army.  All  the  morning  of 
the  3d  the  officers  in  command  suffered  from  great 
embarrassment,  on  account  of  an  unfortunate 
accident  to  General  Hooker.  As  he  was  standing 
by  his  headquarters  at  Chancellor's  house,  a  column 
of  the  portico  was  struck  by  a  cannon-shot  and 
thrown  violently  against  him;  he  fell  senseless,  and 
for  some  time  was  thought  to  have  been  fatally 
injured ;  he  did  not  become  conscious  for  half  an 
hour,  and  for  more  than  an  hour  longer  he  was  in- 
capable of  giving  any  intelligent  direction  to  the 
battle.  General  Couch  was  second  in  command, 
but,  under  the  circumstances,  naturally  assumed  as 
little  responsibility  as  possible ;  and  in  the  course  of 
an  hour  or  so  General  Hooker  again  resumed  con- 
trol ;  but  valuable  time  had  been  lost,  and  he  did 
not  during  the  day  fully  recover  from  the  effects  of 


the  shock  he  had  received.  The  battle  therefore  chap.iv. 
lacked  unity  and  energy  from  beginning  to  end,  and 
although  his  troops  fought  well,  with  steady  and 
dogged  courage,  they  could  do  nothing  more,  under 
the  circumstances,  than  punish  the  enemy  severely 
whenever  they  were  attacked,  and  then  fall  back 
in  pursuance  of  orders.  By  their  last  withdrawal 
they  gave  up  their  valuable  position  commanding 
the  three  roads  to  Fredericksburg,  simply  retain- 
ing an  intrenched  front  towards  the  enemy  with 
both  wings  resting  upon  the  river  and  covering 
their  fords.1 

General  Hooker  always  severely  blamed  Gen- 
eral Sedgwick  for  his  part  in  the  failure  at 
Chancellorsville,  and  the  Committee  on  the  Con- 
duct of  the  War  adopted  his  opinion,  visiting 
General  Sedgwick  in  their  report  with  severe  and 
undeserved  censure.  At  nine  o'clock  at  night, 
on  the  2d  of  May,  Hooker  sent  a  peremptory  order  1863to 
to  Sedgwick,  directing  him  to  march  with  the 
greatest  expedition  upon  Chancellorsville,  and  to 
attack  and  destroy  any  force  he  might  fall  in  with 
upon  the  road  ;  another  order  of  the  same  purport 
was  sent  to  him  from  General  Butterfield,  Chief 
of  Staff,  dated  at  midnight.  It  seems  altogether 
unreasonable  that  Hooker  should  have  expected 
Sedgwick  to  attack  and  defeat  the  force  left  at 

1  "  We  immediately  commenced  commenced  using  the  roads  we 
to  fortify  that  position  by  throw-  had  abandoned,  and  marched 
ing  up  rifle-pits,  and  held  it  until  down  and  attacked  Sedgwick  as 
we  recrossed  the  river.  In  the  it  proved  afterwards.  And  after 
mean  time  we  had  given  up  all  accomplishing  all  they  could  with 
those  great  roads  connecting  with  him,  which  was  to  drive  him 
Fredericksburg.  The  enemy  took  across  the  river,  they  came  back 
possession  of  the  belt  of  woods  to  attack  us." — Hancock,  Testi- 
between  us  and  those  roads,  and  mony,  Eeport  Committee  on  Con- 
held  us  in  the  open  space,  and  duct  of  the  War. 


chap.  iv.  Fredericksburg,  and  then  to  march  eleven  miles 
and  attack  Lee's  rear,  and  to  do  all  this  between 
midnight  and  daybreak ;  yet  this  he  claims  to  have 
expected,  and  this  the  committee  of  Congress  cen- 
sured Sedgwick  for  not  having  done.  It  is  true 
they  induced  several  witnesses  to  say  that  if  Sedg- 
wick had  accomplished  this  feat  the  result  would 
have  been  the  destruction  of  Lee's  army,  a  prop- 
osition which  need  not  be  discussed.  But  it  is 
difficult  to  see  how  Sedgwick  could  have  proceeded 
with  more  expedition  than  he  really  used.  Getting 
his  orders  at  midnight,  he  began  operations  against 
Fredericksburg  as  early  as  he  could.  He  moved 
by  the  flank,  fighting  all  the  way.  The  head  of  his 
Testimony,  column,  at  daylight,  forced  its  way  into  the  town 
on  cSSuct  an(^ to  ^e  ^ron^  °f  the  intrenchments  at  the  heights 
of  t?8665War'  beyond ;  he  assaulted  with  four  regiments,  which 
Y^it'  were  repulsed  from  the  enemy's  rifle-pits.  He 
attempted  to  turn  the  right  of  the  enemy's  position 
with  a  force  under  General  Howe ;  he  sent  Gib- 
bon's division  to  try  to  turn  the  enemy's  left,  and 
these  efforts  failing,  he  organized  a  strong  storm- 
ing party,  which  at  last  carried  the  enemy's  center 
at  the  formidable  point  of  Marye's  Heights,  which 
had  proved  so  fatal  to  the  army  under  Burnside. 
He  did  this  at  eleven  o'clock  in  the  morning ;  he 
seems  to  have  delayed  as  little  time  as  was  possible 
to  bring  his  troops  into  order  again  after  the  con- 
fusion of  their  assault  and  their  victory.  He  then 
immediately  put  them  in  motion  for  Chancellors- 
ville,  meeting  with  some  opposition  all  the  way, 
until  at  Salem  Church,  little  more  than  a  third  of 
the  way  to  Hooker,  the  Confederates  made  a  strong 
stand  against  him,  having  been  heavily  reenforced 


from  Lee's  main  army.  It  is  hard  to  see  what  more  chap.  iv. 
he  could  have  done.  He  had  taken  Fredericks- 
burg, had  marched  to  Salem  Church,  fighting  al- 
most constantly,  from  daylight  until  dark.  If  all 
the  generals  of  the  army  had  done  their  duty 
equally  well  on  that  and  the  previous  day,  we 
should  have  no  further  disaster  to  chronicle.  He 
had  also  nearly  all  the  fighting  on  the  next  day, 
the  4th  of  May.  He  gave  and  received  about  equal  i863. 
injury.  The  enemy  had,  of  course,  reoccupied 
Fredericksburg,  and  came  upon  him  from  the  East, 
West,  and  South.  He  applied  to  G-eneral  Hooker 
for  leave  to  cross  the  river,  and  received  it.  This 
permission  was  afterwards  countermanded,  but 
these  later  orders  were  only  received  by  him  after 
his  command  had  gained  the  north  bank  of  the 

Little  was  done  by  Hooker's  army  on  the  4th.  May,i863. 
The  disappointments  of  the  three  preceding  days 
had  greatly  depressed  him,  and  the  physical  injury 
which  he  had  received  on  the  3d  left  him  still  faint 
and  feeble.  So  vacillating  and  purposeless  was  his 
action  on  the  4th  that  the  usual  calumnious  report 
obtained  credence  that  he  was  under  the  influence 
of  liquor  that  day.2    Had  he  been  in  possession  of 

1  "  The  losses  of  the  Sixth.  Corps  ers,  including  many  officers  of 
in  these  operations  were  4925  rank.  No  material  of  any  kind 
killed,  wounded,  and  missing  belonging  to  the  Corps  fell  ioto 
[revised  tables  4590].  We  cap-  the  hands  of  the  enemy  except 
tured  from  the  enemy,  according  several  wagons  and  a  forge  that 
to  the  best  information  we  could  were  passing  through  Fredericks- 
obtain,  five  battle-flags,  fifteen  burg  at  the  time  of  its  reoceupa- 
pieces  of  artillery,  —  nine  of  tion  by  his  forces." —  Sedgwick, 
which  were  brought  off,  the  Report.  Vol.  XXV.,  Part  L,  p. 5 61. 
others  falling  into  the  hands  of  2  The  Rev.  Henry  Ward  Beecher 
the  enemy  upon  the  subsequent  has  the  credit  of  having  given 
reoccupation  of  Fredericksburg  currency  to  this  story.  On  being 
by  his  forces, —  and  1400  prison-  asked  by  the  Committee  on  the 


chap.  iv.  all  his  faculties  he  never  could  have  left,  as  he  did, 
37,000  fresh  troops  out  of  the  battle,  who  were 
waiting  and  willing  to  take  part  in  it.  The  First 
and  most  of  the  Fifth  Corps  stood  idle  on  Hooker's 
right,  forbidden  to  go  in.  So  anxious  was  General 
Reynolds  to  bear  his  part  that,  in  spite  of  his  orders, 
he  sent  forward  a  brigade  to  make  a  reconnais- 
sance, hoping  that  in  this  way  an  engagement 
might  be  brought  on ;  but  to  his  disappointment 
the  officers  detailed  to  that  service  came  back  with 
only  an  excellent  report  and  a  lot  of  prisoners. 
Lee's  army  was  left  perfectly  free  to  hammer 
Sedgwick  at  its  will. 

May,  1863.  On  the  night  of  the  4th  a  council  of  war  was 
called.  Hooker,  stating  his  views  of  the  situation 
to  his  generals,  retired  and  left  them  free  to  de- 
liberate among  themselves.    Reynolds  threw  him- 

Conduct  of  the  War  to  give  his  had  not  at  that  time  some  one 

authority  for  it,  he  declined   to  who  was  physically    capable  of 

mention    the    name    of    his  in-  taking  the  command  of  the  army, 
formant.  —  Eeport     Committee 
on  Conduct  of  the  War. 

The  story  is  positively  contra-        "  Question.  It  has  been  loosely 

dieted  by  all  the  officers  who  were  reported    that    General    Hooker 

with  Hooker  during  the   battle,  was  under  the  influence  of  liquor 

The  following  is   from  General  at  that  time.      Please  state  how 

Pleasonton's  testimony :  that  was. 

"  He  was  under  a  fly  [tent] —  we        "Answer.  It  is  my  opinion,  from 

were  under  fire  —  the  shells  were  what  I  saw  of  General  Hooker  at 

bursting  over  us,  and  I  believe  that  time,  that  that  impression 

some  of  the  staff  were   injured  is  entirely  erroneous.      General 

during  the  day.     General  Hooker  Hooker  did  not  drink  anything 

was  lying  on  the  ground  and  us-  while  I  was  with  him.    His  whole 

ually  in  a  doze,  except  when  I  manner  was  that  of  a  sick  person 

woke  him  up  to  attend  to  some  and  nothing  else.     His  eyes  were 

important  dispatch  that  required  perfectly    clear,    but  his  whole 

his  decision.     When  I  did  so  his  appearance  was  that  of  a  man 

efforts  appeared  to  me  to  be  those  who  was  suffering  great  pain." — 

of  a  person  who  was  overcom-  See  also  General  Couch's  opinion, 

ing  great  physical  pain  by  mental  * l  Battles  and  Leaders."  Vol.  HI., 

efforts,  and  I  regretted  that  we  p.  170. 


self  on  a  bed  and  went  to  sleep,  saying  lie  would  chap.iv. 
vote  with  Meade.  Meade,  thinking  the  crossing 
would  be  too  hazardous,  voted  to  remain;  so  did 
Howard,  who  wished  to  give  his  corps  a  chance 
to  redeem  their  reputation.  Couch  voted  in  favor 
of  crossing  the  river.  Sickles  voted  in  the  same 
sense.  He  afterwards  gave  as  his  justification  for 
this  vote,  that  their  rations  had  given  out,  that 
the  rain-storm  of  Tuesday  had  turned  the  Rappa- 
hannock into  a  rapid  and  swollen  torrent,  and  had 
carried  away  one  of  the  bridges  and  threatened  the 
rest ;  besides  they  had  only  supplies  enough  for  one 
day  more  of  fighting,  and  defeat  would  entail  a  great 
disaster.  These  were  the  views  of  General  Hooker 
himself,  and,  notwithstanding  the  majority  of  his 
corps  commanders  wished  to  stay  and  fight  it  out 
on  the  south  side,  he  resolved  to  recross  the  river, 
and  the  movement  was  executed  without  further 

His  confusion  and  bewilderment  lasted  long  after 
the  battle.  He  said  himself  to  the  committee  of 
Congress,  "When  I  returned  from  Chancellorsville 
I  felt  that  I  had  fought  no  battle;  in  fact,  I  had 

°  7  7  Hooker, 

more  men  than  I  could  use,  and  I  fought  no  general  T^jjj£ y- 
battle  for  the  reason  that  I  could  not  get  my  men  ^cimduS 
in  position  to  do  so ;    probably  not  more  than  of  t?8e65War' 
three  or  three  and  a  half  corps  on  the  right  were      pari42.' 
engaged  in  that  fight.77 

We  need  not  recapitulate  the  fatal  errors  to 
which  we  have  alluded  to  show  that  Hooker's 
reputation  as  a  great  commander  could  not  pos- 
sibly survive  his  defeat  at  Chancellorsville.  Stone- 
wall Jackson's  bold  and  successful  stroke  on  the 
Union  right  would  not  have  prevented   a  great 


chap.iv.  victory  if  a  man  of  even  ordinary  capacity  in 
great  emergencies  had  been  at  the  head  of  the 
army.     He  threw  away  his   chances  one  by  one. 

April  and  On  the  night  of  the  30th,  and  on  the  morning  of 
the  1st,  a  swift  movement  forward  would  have 
brought  him  clear  of  the  forest  with  his  left  on 
Banks's  Ford,  and  given  him  an  enormous  tactical 
advantage  in  the  attack  which  Lee  was  forced  to 
deliver.  And  even  on  the  morning  of  the  3d,  by 
simply  holding  the  position  which  Pleasonton, 
Sickles,  and  Berry  had  gained,  with  the  help  of  the 
fresh  First  and  Fifth  Corps  on  the  right,  and  the 
indomitable  Hancock  on  the  left,  the  enemy  could, 
probably,  have  been  repulsed.  The  successive 
withdrawals  of  Hooker's  lines  were  a  bitter  mor- 
tification to  his  own  troops  and  the  subject  of 
wonder  and  amazement  to  the  enemy. 

The  attempt  to  throw  the  blame  of  his  failure 
upon  Sedgwick  was  as  futile  as  Burn  side's  effort  to 
saddle  his  upon  Franklin.  The  distrust  and  criti- 
cisms which  had  darkened  the  latter  days  of  General 
Burnside's  command  of  the  army  now  gathered 
about  his  luckless  successor.  He  had  been  the 
most  outspoken  and  the  most  merciless  of  Burn- 
side's  critics,  and  the  words  of  the  President's 
severe  admonition  must  have  often  come  back  to 
him  when  he  felt  himself  exposed  to  the  same 
measure  which  he  had  meted  out  to  Burnside. 
The  opinion  which  General  Warren  expressed  to  the 
committee  of  Congress  was  that  of  most  of  the  offi- 

Warren,  ° 

TBepo?ty'  cers  °^  m^n  rank  °f  *ne  Army  of  the  Potomac :  "A 

on  Conduct  great   many  of   the   generals   lost   confidence   in 

of  ^mm!7"'  him.  •  •  I  must  confess  that  notwithstanding  the 

Pprt5o!"  friendly  terms  I  was    on  with  General  Hooker, 


I    somewhat    lost    confidence   in   him  from  that    chap.iv. 

Stoneman's  expedition,  although  he  started  with 
the  largest  and  most  perfectly  equipped  cavalry 
corps  which  had  ever  been  brought  together  upon 
the  continent,  accomplished  very  little.  Instead  of 
marching  directly  in  a  solid  body  upon  Lee's  line 
of  communications,  he  divided  his  force  into  several 
parties  of  raiders,  which  spread  wide  alarm  through- 
out the  State,  but  did  little  serious  and  permanent 

The  losses  at  Chancellorsville  were  large  on  both 
sides.  The  Union  loss  was  1606  killed,  9762 
wounded,  and  5919  missing,  a  total  of  17,287.  The 
rebel  losses  were  1649  killed,  9106  wounded,  and 
1708  captured:  in  all  12,463.  The  proportion  of 
loss  to  the  troops  engaged  was  thus  about  the 
same  on  the  Confederate  and  on  the  Union  side* 




chap.  v.  rr^HE  promotion  of  General  Halleck  to  the  chief 
July  23,  _L_  command  of  the  armies  of  the  United  States, 
and  his  removal  to  Washington,  placed  General 
Grant  at  the  head  of  the  armies  of  the  West.  He 
was  not  at  first  able  to  follow  his  natural  disposi- 
tion, and  to  attack  the  enemy  opposed  to  him,  on 
account  of  the  large  subtractions  which  were  made 
from  his  forces  to  enable  Buell  to  hold  his  positions 
in  Tennessee.  He  had  a  long  line  to  hold,  from 
Memphis  to  Corinth,  and  had  all  he  could  do  to 
guard  it  against  the  attacks  of  an  active  and  vigi- 
lant enemy.  He  massed  his  troops,  as  well  as  he 
could,  in  a  triangle  of  which  the  points  were  Jack- 
son, Bolivar,  and  Corinth.  He  remained  about 
two  months  in  this  enforced  inactivity,  which  was 
only  broken,  at  last,  by  an  attack  of  the  enemy. 
The  Confederate  generals  Price  and  Van  Dorn 
were  in  front  of  him,  the  former  on  the  left  and 
the  latter  on  the  right ;  and  towards  the  middle  of 
September  they  made  a  movement,  the  object  of 
which  was  to  effect  a  junction  and  either  attack 
and  disperse  the  forces  of  Grant,  or,  together  pass- 
ing his  flank,  to  reenforce  Bragg  in  his  campaign 


1MB'.  I II      II  / 



against  Buell.    In  pursuance  of  this  object  Price    chap.  v. 
seized  the  village  of  Iuka,  twenty-one  miles  south- 
east of  Corinth,  Colonel  Eobert  C.  Murphy,  who 
commanded  the  place,  giving  way  without  resist-      Grant> 
ance  and  displaying  a  pusillanimity  which,  when   mSiS 
repeated  on  a  subsequent  occasion,  caused  great      p?434.' 
damage  to  the  Union  arms. 

As  soon  as  Grant  heard  of  the  movement  he  pre- 
pared, with  his  usual  energy,  to  prevent  the  two 
Confederate  generals  from  effecting  their  junction. 
He  ordered  General  Eosecrans,  whose  troops  were 
at  the  moment  south  of  Corinth,  to  attack  Iuka 
on  the  southwest,  and  General  E.  0.  C.  Ord  to 
march  on  the  north  of  the  Memphis  and  Charleston 
railroad  and  attack  that  side  of  the  town  at  the 
same  moment.  The  two  generals  had  about 
17,000  men,  almost  equally  divided.  This  plan  met 
with  the  usual  ill-success  which  attended  such  con- 
certed movements  during  the  early  part  of  the  war. 
Eosecrans  was  himself  attacked  by  the  Confeder- 
ates two  miles  south  of  Iuka,  and  the  head  of  his 
column  was  roughly  handled.  The  engagement 
lasted  several  hours,  but  as  a  strong  wind  was  blow- 
ing from  the  north,  Ord,  who  was  only  a  few  miles 
away,  and  who  was  waiting  for  the  signal  of  Eose- 
crans's  attack,  heard  not  a  shot  nor  a  sound.  He 
got  the  news,  however,  during  the  night,  and  pushed 
on  to  Iuka  in  the  morning,  only  to  find  that  the 
town  was  deserted  and  that  the  enemy,  after  hold- 
ing Eosecrans  in  check  during  the  afternoon  on  the 
Jacinto  road,  had  escaped  during  the  night  by  the 
Fulton  road,  a  few  miles  further  east.  Price  passed 
in  this  way  round  the  right  flank  and  rear  of 
Eosecrans,  and  joined  Van  Dorn  at  Eipley.    Both 

Vol.  VII.— 8 

Sept.  19, 








chap.  v.    sides  claimed  the  advantage  in  this  affair.    Rose- 
crans's  loss  was  790  and  Price's  was  535.1 

Price  and  Van  Dorn  came  together  in  the  latter 
1862.  part  of  September,  and  before  the  1st  of  October 
Grant  ascertained  that  another  movement  was  in 
progress  against  him.  This  time  Corinth  was  the 
point  of  attack.  Rosecrans  occupied  that  place 
with  some  23,000  men,  Ord  at  Bolivar  had  12,000, 
and  there  was  a  small  reserve  at  Jackson,  where 
Grant  had  established  his  headquarters.  Van  Dorn, 
being  the  ranking  officer,  took  command  of  the 
Confederate  forces,  amounting  to  some  22,000.  He 
reached  Pocahontas,  a  point  about  twenty  miles 
northwest  of  Corinth,  on  the  1st  of  October,  and 
pushed  for  that  place  with  great  force  and  celerity. 
His  object,  as  set  forth  by  himself  in  his  report, 
was  to  attack  the  forces  there,  drive  them  back  on 
the  Tennessee  and  cut  them  off,  then  turn  upon 
Bolivar  and  Jackson,  overrun  West  Tennessee,  and 
effect  a  communication  with  General  Bragg  through 
Middle  Tennessee.  The  campaign  was  well  planned, 
and  if  it  could  have  been  successfully  carried  out 
would  have  been  of  very  great  advantage  to  the 

Oct.  3, 1863.  The  attack  upon  Corinth  began  under  the  most 
favorable  auspices.  Rosecrans's  forces  were  at- 
tacked near  the  outlying  works  at  some  distance 

1  u  General  Grant  was  much  of-  Mississippi." — "  Memoirs  of  Gen- 
fended  with  General  Rosecrans  eral  W.  T.  Sherman."  Vol.  I.,  p. 
because  of  this  affair,  but  in  my  261. 

experience  these  concerted  move-  "  I  was  disappointed  at  the  result 

ments  generally  fail,  unless  with  of  the  battle  of  Iuka  —  but  I  had 

the  very  best  kind  of  troops,  and  so  high   an   opinion   of   General 

then  in  a  country  on  whose  roads  Rosecrans  that  I  found  no  fault 

some    reliance    can    be    placed,  at  the  time." — Grant,  "  Personal 

which  is  not  the  case  in  Northern  Memoirs."    Vol.  I.,  p.  413. 


from  the  town,  and  forced  back  into  the  inner  in-  chap.  v. 
trenchments  with  considerable  loss.  The  Con- 
federates bivouacked  for  the  night  within  a  few 
hundred  yards  of  the  Union  forces,  and  expected 
an  easy  day's  work  on  the  morrow.  Van  Dorn 
ordered  General  Louis  Hebert  to  attack  vigorously 
on  the  left  at  daylight,  swinging  his  left  wing  along 
the  Ohio  Railroad  against  the  north  side  of  the 
town.  Dabney  H.  Maury,  commanding  the  center, 
was  to  move  directly  from  the  west,  and  Mansfield 
Lovell  was  to  second  the  attack  from  the  south- 
west. But  the  whole  plan  miscarried.  Hebert, 
instead  of  attacking  at  daybreak,  came  to  head- 
quarters at  seven  o'clock,  and  said  he  was  too  sick 
to  fight.  It  was  two  hours  later  before  his  com- 
mand, under  the  next  in  rank,  General  Martin 
E.  Green,  attacked,  and  Maury  having  already 
become  engaged,  the  assault  lacked  the  unity  and 
vehemence  required.  The  Confederates,  neverthe- 
less, fought  with  great  bravery  and  determination, 
and  were  opposed  with  equal  gallantry  by  the 
national  troops  in  the  town.  They  succeeded  in 
breaking  the  Union  line  and  entering  the  streets  of 
Corinth,  but  the  attacking  party,  being  subjected  to 
a  terrible  crossfire  of  artillery,  were  driven  out 
again  with  heavy  loss.  The  battle  lasted  only  a 
short  while,  and  before  Lovell  had  begun  to  bring 
his  forces  seriously  into  action  from  the  southwest 
the  other  divisions  had  been  repulsed,  and  he  could 
do  nothing  more  than  cover  the  retreat.  The  Con-  ^Ip™?.8' 
federate  loss  was  very  severe.  Rosecrans  reported  volxvil, 
their  killed  at  1423,  and  he  captured  2268  prisoners;  jTno." 
their  total  loss,  as  indicated  by  the  records,  was 
4838.    As  the  Union  soldiers  fought  behind  breast- 


chap.v.  works  they  suffered  much  less,  their  loss  being 
only  2520. 

The  troops  rested  from  noon  of  the 4th  to  the  morn- 

oct.,  1862.  ing  of  the  5th,  and  then  started  after  the  retreating 
enemy;  General  Eosecrans  took  the  wrong  road,  and 
lost  eight  miles  by  his  mistake.  Van  Dorn,  in 
his  retreat,  fell  in  with  Ord's  detachment,  by  whom 
he  was  sharply  attacked  and  driven  away  from 
Davis's  Bridge  and  compelled  to  cross  further  south. 
Ord  being  seriously  wounded  in  this  fight,  the  pur- 
suit from  his  column  ceased.  Eosecrans  came  up 
with  Van  Dorn  too  late  to  prevent  his  crossing  the 
Hatchie ;  and  on  reporting  this  to  General  Grant, 
he  concluded  that  the  chase  was  no  longer  of  any 
use,  and  ordered  Eosecrans  to  return.  Although  in 
neither  of  these  engagements  had  General  Eose- 
crans, in  the  opinion  of  General  Grant,  gained  all 
the  advantages  he  should  have  done  from  the 
defeat  of  the  enemy,  they  were  not  without  their 
importance  in  defeating  the  junction  of  Van  Dora's 
army  with  Bragg,  and  for  some  time  afterwards 
West  Tennessee  was  safe  from  any  incursions  from 
the  south.  General  Eosecrans  himself  received 
ungrudging  praise  from  the  country  and  from  the 
Government.  He  was  promoted  to  the  grade  of 
major-general,  and  given  command  of  the  Army 
of  the  Cumberland;  and  although  General  Grant 
did  not  suggest,  and  would  not  have  approved,  this 
promotion,  he  took  a  certain  grim  satisfaction  in  it, 
as  it  relieved  him  from  the  command  of  a  subordi- 
nate who  had  not  fulfilled  his  expectations.1    Van 

1  Grant  says  ("  Memoirs,"  Vol.  termined    to    relieve  him   from 

I.,  p.  420),    "As  a  subordinate  duty    that    very    day." —  Vide 

I  found  that  I  could  not  make  Badeau,   "  Military    History    of 

him  do  as  I  wished,  and  had  de-  U.  S.Grant."    Vol.  I.,  p.  120. 


Dorn,  who  had  planned  his  campaign  with  good  chap.  v. 
judgment,  made  his  attack  with  energy,  and  when 
it  failed  effected  his  retreat  with  great  skill  and 
success,  was  blamed  severely  for  his  failure,  though 
a  court  of  inquiry  exonerated  him  from  all  censure. 
Jefferson  Davis,  although  Yan  Dorn  had  lost 
nothing  in  his  estimation  by  the  untoward  result 
of  the  attack  on  Corinth,  still  felt  that  it  would  not 
be  advisable  to  continue  him  in  chief  command  of 
the  troops  in  that  region,  and  therefore  made 
J.  C.  Pemberton  a  lieutenant-general  and  ordered 
him  to  Mississippi.  He  assumed  command  at  Jack- 
son on  the  14th  of  October,  1862. 

Towards  the  end  of  that  month  General  Grant,  oct„  1862. 
in  view  of  the  repulse  of  the  enemy  in  his  front  and 
the  good  condition  of  the  troops  under  his  command, 
reenforced  by  the  new  levies  of  the  summer,  began 
to  turn  his  thoughts  in  the  direction  of  an  advance 
through  the  State  of  Mississippi  in  rear  of  Yicks- 
burg.  He  suggested  in  a  letter  to  General  Halleck, 
on  the  26th  of  October,  the  destruction  of  all  the  rail- 
roads about  Corinth  and  an  advance  southward  from 
Grand  Junction  along  the  east  bank  of  the  Yazoo 
River ;  and  in  pursuance  of  that  idea  he  gathered  in, 
from  Bolivar  and  Corinth,  a  force  of  about  thirty 
thousand  men,  who  arrived  in  the  neighborhood  of 
Grand  Junction  on  the  4th  of  November.  General 
Halleck,  on  being  informed  of  this  movement,  tele- 
graphed his  approval  of  it,  and  added  also  that  he 
had  ordered  the  troops  at  Helena,  in  Arkansas,  to 
cross  the  river  and  threaten  Grenada  on  the  Mis- 
sissippi Central  Railroad,  half  way  between  Grand 
Junction  and  Yicksburg.  It  was  therefore  under 
the  best  possible  auspices  that  Grant  began  his 


chap.  v.  movement  southward.  He  had  an  excellent  army, 
1862.  weU  composed  and  well  officered,  inured  to  camp 
life,  and  with  the  habit  of  victory.  He  was  heartily 
and  generously  supported  and  seconded  at  Wash- 
ington.1 He  enjoyed  the  confidence  of  the  Presi- 
dent, and  the  enthusiastic  support  of  the  country. 
The  prize  before  him  was  also  of  a  nature  to  excite 
to  the  highest  point  of  activity  the  ambition  and 
the  energies  of  any  general.  The  possession  of  the 
Mississippi  Eiver  was  indispensable  to  the  success 
of  the  National  cause.  So  long  as  this  vast  highway 
was  closed,  at  any  point,  to  the  fleets  of  the  Union,  the 
National  power  was,  to  a  great  extent,  paralyzed  in 
the  West.  The  triumphant  campaign  of  Donelson 
and  Henry  and  its  resulting  operations  had  freed 
the  river  from  its  source  to  the  city  of  Vicksburg. 
The  gallantry  of  Farragut  and  his  fleet  in  the 
memorable  passage  of  Forts  Jackson  and  St.  Philip, 
and  the  subsequent  capture  of  New  Orleans,  had 
given  to  the  Union  the  control  of  the  mouths  of  the 
great  river ;  but  from  Vicksburg  to  Port  Hudson,  a 
distance  by  the  river  of  some  two  hundred  miles,  the 
enemy  held  almost  unbroken  possession,  and,  by 
means  of  this  great  belt  of  territory,  they  kept  up 
undisturbed  communication  with  the  country  west 
of  the  river.  They  held  Louisiana  as  a  field  of 
manoeuvre  and  supply ;  the  vast  empire  of  Texas, 
the  most  important  beef -producing  region  of  the 

i  There  are  expressions  in  the  former  went  to  Washington,  and 

writings   of  General  Grant,  and  their    personal    relations    never 

those   of  his    family    and    staff,  were    especially    cordial.       But 

which  may  seem  contradictory  of  Grant  in  all  his  campaigns  was 

this  statement,  but  the  records  do  loyally  and  heartily  supported  by 

not    confirm   them.     There    had  Halleck  —  in  spite  of  occasional 

been    some    ill-feeling    between  differences     of      opinion  —  from 

Halleck  and   Grant    before    the  Corinth  to  Appomattox. 


continent,  was  subject  to  their  orders ;  in  short,  the    chap.  v. 
Louisiana  Purchase  was  virtually  their  own ;  and 
their  only  communication  by  land  with  the  outside 
world  was  through  their  southwestern  frontier. 

The  post  of  Vicksburg  owed  its  importance  pri- 
marily to  its  topographical  situation.  The  Missis- 
sippi Eiver  runs  from  Memphis  to  Vicksburg  (a 
stretch  of  two  hundred  miles  as  the  crow  flies,  and 
twice  that  distance  if  we  follow  the  sinuosities  of 
the  stream),  through  a  flat  and  rich  alluvial  country 
of  a  dreary  monotony  and  dullness.  On  the  eastern 
side  of  the  river,  between  the  two  points  we  have 
mentioned,  stretches  a  vast  low  valley  sixty  miles 
in  width  at  its  broadest  part,  bounded  by  the  river 
on  the  west,  and  on  the  east  by  a  long  range  of 
hills  which  in  former  ages  was  the  eastern  limit  of 
the  bed  of  a  prodigious  water-course.  Along  the 
foot  of  these  hills  runs  the  Yazoo  Eiver,  and  the 
whole  country  is  intersected  in  every  direction  by 
swamps,  bayous,  and  sluggish  streams  creeping 
through  vast  forests  of  cypress.  The  bluffs  we 
have  mentioned  leave  the  Mississippi  Eiver  at 
Memphis,  and,  curving  to  the  east,  do  not  join  the 
river  again  until  they  reach  Vicksburg ;  from  there 
to  Port  Hudson  they  follow  the  eastern  bank  of  the 
river,  and  turn  sharply  to  the  east  between  that 
point  and  New  Orleans. 

We  have  detailed  in  another  place  the  unsuccess- 
ful attempts  of  Farragut  and  Williams  to  capture 
Vicksburg  in  April  and  June  of  1862.  These  fail- 
ures so  raised  the  spirits  of  the  rebel  officers  there 
that  General  Van  Dorn,  who  was  in  command  of  the 
Confederate  troops,  after  General  Williams  had 
retired  to  Baton  Eouge,  determined  to  take  the 


chap.  v.  offensive  and  to  attack  Mm  there.  He  sent  General 
Breckinridge  with  two  divisions  against  that 
1862.  position  the  last  of  July.  A  severe  action  took 
place  in  which  the  Confederates  were  repulsed  with 
great  loss ;  their  ram  Arkansas  was  set  on  fire,  after 
having  run  aground.  On  the  Union  side  the  loss  was 
comparatively  slight,  although  it  included  the  brave 
and  accomplished  General  Williams.  But  though 
the  Confederate  attack  had  failed  of  its  immediate 
object,  the  capture  of  Baton  Rouge,  General  Breck- 
inridge, notwithstanding  his  defeat,  acted  with  ad- 
mirable judgment  in  seizing  the  commanding  point 
of  Port  Hudson,  immediately  above  Baton  Rouge, 
and  strongly  fortifying  it.  The  Union  troops,  not  be- 
ing reenf  orced,  soon  afterwards  returned  to  New  Or- 
leans, and  for  nearly  a  year  more  the  rebel  garrisons 
at  Port  Hudson  and  Vicksburg  dominated  a  stretch 
of  two  hundred  miles  of  the  Mississippi  River. 

Just  as  General  Grant  was  proposing  to  start  on 
his  expedition  southward,  he  received  a  dispatch 
from  Halleck  promising  him  large  reinforcements 
in  a  short  time.  The  prospect  of  this  addition  to 
his  force  induced  him  to  delay  his  principal  move- 
ment for  a  few  days ;  but  he  sent  a  large  reconnoiter- 
ing  party,  under  the  command  of  General  James  B. 
McPherson,  towards  Holly  Springs,  from  which  he 
learned  that  there  was  a  considerable  force  of  the 
enemy  in  that  neighborhood;  and,  having  been 
informed  by  Halleck  that  Memphis  would  be  made 
a  depot  of  a  general  military  and  naval  expedition 
to  Vicksburg,  he  grew  impatient  at  the  prospect  of 
continued  delay,  and  telegraphed  to  Halleck  asking 
whether  he  was  to  wait  at  Grand  Junction  until  the 
Memphis  expedition  was  fitted  out,  or  whether  he 


was  to  push  south  as  far  as  possible.  He  also  asked  chap,  v 
whether  W.  T.  Sherman  was  to  move  subject  to  his 
orders,  or  whether  he  was  to  be  reserved  for  some 
special  service ;  to  which  Halleck  answered,  "  You  Halleck  t 
have  command  of  all  troops  sent  to  your  Depart-  j^fjj 
ment,  and  have  permission  to  fight  the  enemy  where  y$fc  ^J; 
you  please."  Grant  next  asked  for  an  addition  to  the  F™m." 
railroad  rolling  stock  then  accumulated  at  Mem- 
phis, to  which  Halleck  answered  that  it  was  not 
advisable  to  undertake  the  repair  of  railroads 
south;  that  Grant's  operations  in  Mississippi  should 
be  limited  to  rapid  marches  upon  any  collected 
force  of  the  enemy;  and  he  suggested  a  rapid 
turning  movement  down  the  river  as  soon  as  neces- 
sary forces  could  be  collected.  On  the  15th  of 
November  Grant,  having  determined  to  move  for- 
ward, sent  for  Sherman,  and  concerted  with  him  a 
plan  of  operations.  Grant  was  to  move  in  person 
with  the  troops  from  Grand  Junction,  Sherman 
was  to  come  out  with  an  auxiliary  force  from 
Memphis  and  join  Grant  on  the  Tallahatchie,  and 
Curtis  was  to  send  a  force  over  the  river  from  Ar- 
kansas to  demonstrate  upon  the  rear  of  the  enemy 
at  Grenada.  As  the  expedition  was  on  the  point  of 
moving  Grant  received  a  dispatch  from  Halleck, 
asking  how  many  men  could  be  spared  for  a  move- 
ment down  the  river,  reserving  merely  enough  to 
hold  Corinth  and  West  Tennessee.  Grant  replied 
that  he  could  let  16,000  go  from  Memphis,  to  be 
taken  mainly  from  the  new  levies  there;  but 
that  he  required  the  rest  of  his  force  to  move 
against  Pemberton.  Halleck  immediately  answered, 
approving  the  proposed  movement  but  cautioning 
Grant  not  to  go  too  far. 


chap.  v.  The  expedition  started,  as  arranged,  on  the  26th 
of  November,  1862.  Grant's  cavalry  crossed  the 
Tallahatchie  on  the  1st  of  December,  his  infantry 
and  Sherman's  forces  following  close  after.  The 
troops  from  Helena  crossed,  as  agreed,  nnder 
General  Alvin  P.  Hovey.  His  cavalry  came 
to  within  seven  miles  of  Grenada,  and  inflicted 
considerable  damage  on  the  railroads.  The  Con- 
federate force  fell  back  as  Grant  advanced ;  the 
Union  columns  meeting  only  slight  skirmishing 
parties  of  the  enemy.  The  pursuit  continued  as 
far  as  Oxford,  and  even  there  it  was  not  the  stand 
of  the  Confederates  but  trouble  in  his  logistics  that 
brought  Grant's  advance  to  a  halt.  The  embarrass- 
ment of  feeding  a  large  force  by  a  single  line  of 
railway,  and  that  generally  out  of  repair,  was  far 
greater  than  he  had  counted  upon.  The  country 
was  free  along  the  line  of  the  Mississippi  Central 
as  far  as  Grenada  on  the  3d  of  December,  but  the 
difficulties  of  supply  had  already  become  so  great 
that  on  the  next  day  he  asked  Halleck,  in  a  tele- 
Grant  gram  sent  from  Abbeville,  "how  far  south  would 
De<?£Uie862!  y°u  like  me  to  go  f  .  .  .  With  my  present  force  it 
voiWxvil,  would  not  be  safe  to  go  beyond  Grenada  and 
^472.''  attempt  to  hold  present  lines  of  communication." 
The  day  after,  when  his  cavalry  had  arrived  at 
Coffeeville,  only  eighteen  miles  from  Grenada,  the 
obstacles  to  his  advance  had  become  so  great  that 
he  proposed  to  Halleck  to  send  Sherman  with  the 
Helena  and  Memphis  troops  south  of  the  mouth  of 
the  Yazoo  River,  and  thus  secure  Vicksburg  and  the 
State  of  Mississippi.  Halleck  at  once  directed  him 
not  to  attempt  to  hold  the  country  south  of  the 
Tallahatchie,  but  to  collect  25,000  troops  at  Mem- 


phis  by  the  20th  of  the  month  for  the  Vicksburg  en-    chap.  v. 
terprise.    Grant  had  asked,  "Do  you  want  me  to  Dec. 8,im 
command  the  expedition  on  Vicksburg,  or  shall  I 
send  Sherman?"     He  took  Halleck's  dispatch  of 
the  preceding  day — "  You  will  move  your  troops  as 
you  may  deem  best  to  accomplish  the  great  object     Badeau, 
in  view" —  as  a  sufficient  answer  to  his  question,  and      p?  135!' 
immediately  wrote,  "  General  Sherman  will  com- 
mand the  expedition  down  the  Mississippi.     He 
will  have  a  force  of  about  40,000  men.    Will  land 
above  Vicksburg,  up  the  Yazoo,  if  practicable,  and 
cut  the  Mississippi  Central  Eailroad  and  the  rail-      Grant 
road  running  east  from  Vicksburg  where  they  Decj^ilesL 
cross  the  Black  Eiver.    I  will  cooperate  from  here,  volxvil, 

Part  I 

my  movements  depending  on  those  of  the  enemy."      p.  m'.' 
Full  and  elaborate  orders  were  issued  to  Sherman, 
in  the  sense  of  the  above  dispatch,  on  the  8th  of 
December,  and  he  hurried  to  Memphis  to  organize 
and  take  charge  of  this  important  expedition,  which 
Grant,  with  his  usual  unselfishness,  had  put  in  the 
hands  of  his  most  trusted  subordinate.    He  had  no 
hesitation  in  thus  giving  to  another  the  oppor- 
tunity for  this  brilliant  and  conspicuous  exploit, 
while  he  reserved  for  himself  the  more  modest 
task  of  holding  the  enemy's  forces  in  check  on 
the  Yallabusha.    It  was  understood  between  the 
two  generals,  in  conversation,  that  in  case  Pern-    "Military 
berton  retreated,  Grant  would  follow  him  up  to     grai't8" 
the  Mississippi  between  the  Yazoo  and  the  Big      p0^-; 
Black  rivers. 

Having  once  resolved  upon  the  expedition,  Grant 
urged  Sherman  to  use  all  possible  dispatch  in  get- 
ting away,  and  such  energy  and  zeal  was  put  into 
the    work   that   a  week    after    Sherman   reached 


chap.  v.  Memphis,  on  his  return  from  Oxford,  sixty-seven 
boats  had  arrived  at  Memphis,  and  the  embarka- 
tion began  on  the  morning  of  the  19th.  One 
reason  for  this  haste  on  the  part  of  Grant  and 
Sherman  was  that  they  had  heard  rumors  of  the 
intention  of  the  President  to  assign  General  J.  A. 
McClernand  of  Illinois  to  take  command  of  the  ex- 
pedition against  Vicksburg,  and  they  wished  to 
forestall  any  such  action.1  But  no  notice  of  such 
assignment  had  been  as  yet  sent  to  Grant,  and  he 
had,  in  fact,  the  authority  of  Halleck,  communi- 
cated in  a  dispatch  of  the  9th,  to  appoint  Sherman 
to  the  command ;  but,  on  the  18th  of  the  month, 
while  the  transports  were  arriving  to  convey  Sher- 
man and  his  troops  down  the  river,  a  dispatch 
came  from  Washington  saying,  "It  is  the  wish  of 
Haiieck  ^ne  President  that  General  McClernand's  corps 
Dec^S?'  snaU  constitute  a  part  of  the  river  expedition,  and 
vol.'  xvil;  that  he  shall  have  the  immediate  command,  under 

Part  II 

p.  425."  your  direction."  This  was  a  bitter  order  for  Gen- 
eral Grant,  who  thoroughly  disliked  and  distrusted 
McClernand,  but  he  did  his  best  to  obey  it.  He 
immediately  telegraphed  to  McClernand,  who  was 
at  Springfield,  Illinois,  that  he  was  to  command 
one  of  the  four  corps  into  which  the  troops  of  the 
department  had  been  divided,  and  that  his  corps 
was  to  form  part  of  the  expedition  to  Vicksburg. 
He  also  repeated  the  unwelcome  news  by  telegraph 
to  Sherman  at  Memphis ;  but  neither  of  these  dis- 
patches reached  its  destination,  on  account  of  an 

1  "  Grant  was  still  anxious  lest  that  he  received  the  authority,  so 

McClernand    should    obtain    the  that,  if  possible,  the  latter  might 

command  of  the  river  expedition,  start  before  McClernand  could  ar- 

and  therefore  had  hurried  Sher-  rive." — Badeau,"  Military  History 

man  to  Memphis  on  the  very  day  of  U.  S.  Grant."     Vol.  I.,  p.  136. 


event  which  took  place  at  this  time  and  entirely    chap.  v. 
changed  the  face  of  the  campaign. 

The  fears  which  General  Grant  entertained 
within  a  few  days  after  the  beginning  of  the  ex- 
pedition, that  his  line  of  communication  was  too 
long  to  be  safely  held,  received  a  remarkable  con- 
firmation. A  large  force  of  the  enemy's  cavalry 
under  General  Forrest,  in  the  middle  of  December,  m% 
struck  Grant's  lines  of  communication  with  the 
North,  and  with  the  greater  part  of  his  own  com- 
mand; and  a  simultaneous  movement,  of  much 
greater  importance,  was  made  by  General  Van 
Dorn,  with  3500  cavalry,  who  passed  by  the  left 
flank  of  Grant  and  attacked  his  base  of  supplies  at 
Holly  Springs,  capturing  the  garrison  on  the  20th, 
and  destroying  a  great  quantity  of  valuable  stores. 
Colonel  Murphy,  the  same  incapable  officer  who 
had  abandoned  Iuka  to  Price  in  so  discreditable  a 
manner,  had  been  carelessly  left  in  command  of 
this  important  point.  He  had  been  warned  of  the 
coming  danger,  but  paid  no  attention  to  it,  and 
gave  up  the  post  without  striking  a  blow.1 

On  hearing  of  this  disaster  to  his  line  of  supply 
Grant  did  not  hesitate  a  moment  in  regard  to  the 
course  to  be  pursued.  He  at  once  fell  back  north  of 
the  Tallahatchie  and  telegraphed  to  Halleck  for 
permission  to  join  the  Mississippi  expedition. 
This  was  promptly  accorded,  and  he  hurried  with 
his  troops,  as  rapidly  as  possible,  to  Memphis.  Had 
this  misadventure  happened  to  Grant  at  a  later 
period  of  his  career  he  would  have  paid  no  at- 
tention to  it,  but  gathering  his  troops  compactly 

1  He  was  dismissed  the  service  for  his  conduct  on  this  occasion. — 
W.  R.    Vol.  XVII.,  Part  L,  p.  516. 



u.  s. 
Vol.  I., 

p.  HO. 

chap.  v.  together,  would  have  at  once  advanced  upon  the 
enemy  in  front  of  him,  and  in  all  probability  would 
have  beaten  Pemberton's  army  and  taken  Vicks- 
burg  six  months  earlier  than  it  was  actually  done. 
But  the  experiment  of  living  upon  the  enemy's 
country  had  not  yet  been  tried;  the  roads  were 
bad ;  the  rainy  season  was  beginning,  and  he  con- 
cluded the  more  prudent  course  was  to  return.  He 
Badeau,     learned  something  on  the  way  back  in  regard  to 

nSJy^f  the  problem  of  subsisting  upon  the  enemy's  coun- 
try. For  some  ten  days  he  had  no  communication 
with  the  North,  and  for  a  fortnight  no  supplies. 
But  the  diligent  system  of  foraging  by  which  his 
army  was  fed  on  the  route  from  Coffeeville  to 
Grand  Junction  served  as  a  lesson  to  him  which 
was  afterwards  put  to  splendid  use  by  Sherman 
and  himself.  General  Grant  arrived  at  Holly 
Springs  on  the  23d  of  December,  where  he  re- 
mained a  fortnight,  leaving  a  part  of  McPherson's 
command  on  the  Tallahatchie,  while  most  of  his 
troops  were  engaged  in  reopening  and  guarding 
the  railroad  from  Memphis  to  Corinth. 

The  dispatch  of  General  Grant,  ordering  Mc- 
Clernand  to  take  charge  of  the  expedition  from 
Memphis,  as  we  have  said,  miscarried,  the  wires 
having  been  cut  by  Forrest's  troopers,  but  the 
letter  containing  the  same  orders  reached  McCler- 
nand  at  Springfield,  and  he  immediately  started  for 
his  post.  Sherman,  in  the  mean  time,  not  knowing 
that  he  had  been  superseded  in  command,  started 
down  the  river  on  the  20th  of  December,  ignorant 
also  of  the  cavalry  raids  of  Forrest  and  Van  Dorn, 
which  had  put  an  end  to  Grant's  advance  upon  the 

ibid.,  p.  U3.  interior  of  Mississippi.      He  started  with  30,000 





men,  and 

Chap.  V. 

Dec,  1862. 

taking  on  12,000  more  at  Helena,  he 
steamed  down  the  river  and  reached  Milliken's 
Bend,  twenty  miles  above  Vicksburg,  on  the  morn- 
ing of  the  25th.  Here  he  landed  A.  J.  Smith's  divi- 
sion to  break  np  the  Shreveport  Eailroad,  which 
supplied  Vicksburg  with  provisions  from  the  West. 
The  other  three  divisions  went  on  to  the  mouth  of 
the  Yazoo  River,  and  moving  up  that  stream  some 
twelve  miles,  they  disembarked  on  the  swampy 
bottoms  at  the  foot  of  Walnut  Hills,  where  they 
were  joined  by  Smith's  division  a  day  later. 

Both  Grant  and  Sherman  had  counted  upon  a  sur- 
prise in  this  movement,  but,  in  the  nature  of  the  case, 
no  surprise  was  possible.  The  events  of  the  autumn 
had  attracted  to  this  region  the  most  anxious  at- 
tention of  the  Confederate  Government.  After 
Van  Dorn's  defeat  at  Corinth,  Jefferson  Davis  had 
sent  General  Pemberton,  an  officer  to  whom  he  was 
personally  much  attached,  to  take  command  of 
that  department ;  and,  not  satisfied  with  this,  on 
the  24th  of  November,  he  assigned  General  J.  E. 
Johnston,  who  was  as  yet  only  imperfectly  re- 
covered from  the  wounds  which  had  disabled  him 
at  the  battle  of  Fair  Oaks,  to  the  supreme  command 
of  the  armies  commanded  by  Pemberton  in  Missis- 
sippi, by  E.  Kirby  Smith  in  Louisiana,  and  by 
Bragg  in  Tennessee.  Pemberton  had  a  force  out- 
side of  the  garrisons  at  Vicksburg  and  Port  Hud- 
son of  23,000  on  the  Tallahatchie.  In  Arkansas, 
Lieutenant  General  Holmes  had  a  large  army 
amounting,  according  to  General  Johnston,  to  p^uifua. 
55,000  men.  The  new  commander  of  the  Western 
armies  immediately  recommended  that  he  be  al- 
lowed to  unite  these  forces  for  the  purpose  of  attack- 
Vol.  VII.— 9 

J.  E. 


"  Narrative 

of  Military 



chap.  v.    ing  and  overwhelming  Grant.    This  suggestion  was 
not  adopted.    On  arriving  at  Chattanooga  on  the 
1862.       4th  of  December  he  was  informed  of  the  danger 
with  which  Pemberton  was  threatened  by  Grant's 
advance;  that  Holmes  had  been  ordered  to  reen- 
f orce  him ;  but  fearing  that  Holmes  might  be  too 
late,  Mr.  Davis  urged  upon  Johnston  the  impor- 
tance of  sending  to  Pemberton  a  large  reenforce- 
""SaSSSve  ment  from  Bragg's  command.    He  did  not  think  it 
°  opera^y  judicious  to  weaken  Bragg's  army  by  this  detach- 
p.  156.      ment,  but  both  generals  set  to  work  at  once  to 
organize  the  cavalry  raids  which  were  afterwards 
so  effective. 

Mr.  Davis's  anxiety  on  account  of  affairs  in  Mis- 
sissippi, the  State  of  his  residence,  was  so  great 
that  he  went  to  Chattanooga  in  person  to  look  into 
the  situation  of  affairs  in  the  threatened  region. 
He  did  not  agree  with  General  Johnston  in  regard 
to  the  detachment  of  troops  from  Bragg,  and  ordered 
him  to  transfer  nine  thousand  infantry  and  artillery 
from  Tennessee  to  Pemberton.  He  then  set  off  for 
Jackson,  the  capital  of  Mississippi,  accompanied  by 
General  Johnston.  Governor  John  J.  Pettus  had 
convened  the  Legislature  for  the  purpose  of  bring- 
ing the  entire  arms-bearing  population  of  the  State 
into  the  service  to  add  to  the  inadequate  force  by 
which  Pemberton  was  endeavoring  to  defend  the 
Mississippi  River.  On  the  20th,  at  the  moment  when 
Sherman  was  steaming  away  from  Memphis  with 
his  army,  the  Confederate  President  was  inspecting 
and  criticizing,  with  that  confidence  in  his  own 
opinion  which  he  regarded  as  justified  by  his  West 
Point  education,  the  extensive  fortifications  of 
Vicksburg.    From  that  point  Johnston  and  Jeffer- 


son   Davis  went  to  the   Confederate   camp  near    chap.  v. 
Grenada,  where  Pemberton  was  preparing  to  con- 
test Grant's  expected  passage  of  the  Yallabusha. 
Here  the  three  Confederate  dignitaries  had  a  con- 
ference in  regard  to  the  campaign,  which,  General 

-r   i         .  tt  •  -i       t  n  Johnston, 

J  onnston  says,  revealed  a  wide  divergence  or  views  "  Narrative 

J    7  °  of  Military 

in  regard  to  the  mode  of  warfare  best  adapted  to  2^; 
the  circumstances  —  a  divergence  which  ultimately  p-  153- 
caused  serious  damage.  On  the  27th  the  retire-  Dec.,i862. 
ment  of  Grant  towards  the  North  and  the  destruc- 
tion of  the  supplies  at  Holly  Springs  became  known 
to  Pemberton,  and  immediately  afterwards  the 
approach  of  the  expedition  against  Vicksburg  was 
also  announced  to  him.  The  troops  detached  from 
Bragg  were  sent  to  the  defense  of  Vicksburg.  Mr. 
Davis,  after  a  fervent  address  to  the  Legislature, 
in  which  he  urged  the  citizens  of  Mississippi  to 
"go  at  once  to  Vicksburg  and  assist  in  preserving 
the  Mississippi  River,  that  great  artery  of  the 
country,  and  thus  conduce,  more  than  in  any  other 
way,  to  the  perpetuation  of  the  Confederacy  and 
the  success  of  the  cause,"  returned  to  Richmond. 
When,  therefore,  General  Sherman  landed  his 
force  upon  the  east  bank  of  the  Yazoo  the  task 
which  he  had  assigned  himself  had  become  already 
well-nigh  impossible.  The  bluffs  in  his  front, 
which  he  must  cross  a  difficult  bayou  to  reach, 
were  crowned  by  formidable  earthworks  and  de- 
fended by  an  ample  force,  for  in  the  position  which 
the  Confederates  held  one  man  for  defense  was  as 
good  as  ten  for  attack.  Impassable  swamps  on  the 
left  and  the  Mississippi  River  on  the  right  restricted 
the  field  of  operations  to  a  very  narrow  space,  and 
even  that  was  of  such  a  character  that  a  description 




of  it  in  the  reports  of  the  generals  engaged,  at  this  chap.  v. 
lapse  of  time,  strikes  the  reader  with  amazement. 
General  Frank  P.  Blair,  Jr.,  who  led  the  principal  at- 
tack on  the  enemy's  works,  thus  describes  the  ground 
he  was  compelled  to  traverse  :  "  The  enemy  had  im- 
proved their  naturally  strong  position  with  con- 
summate skill.  The  bed  of  the  bayou  was  perhaps 
one  hundred  yards  in  width,  covered  with  water 
for  a  distance  of  fifteen  feet.  On  the  side  of  the 
bayou  held  by  my  troops  (after  emerging  from  the 
heavy  timber  and  descending  a  bank  of  eight  or  ten 
feet  in  height)  there  was  a  growth  of  young  cotton- 
woods,  thickly  set,  which  had  been  cut  down  by  the 
enemy  at  the  height  of  three  or  four  feet  and  the 
tops  of  these  saplings  thrown  down  among  these 
stumps  so  as  to  form  a  perfect  net  to  entangle 
the  feet  of  the  assaulting  party.  Passing  through 
this  and  coming  to  that  part  of  the  bayou  contain- 
ing water,  it  was  deep  and  miry,  and  when  this  was 
crossed  we  encountered  a  steep  bank  on  the  side  of 
the  enemy,  at  least  ten  feet  high,  covered  with  a 
strong  abatis  and  crowned  with  rifle-pits  from  end 
to  end.  Above  them  was  still  another  range  of 
rifle-pits,  and  still  above  a  circle  of  batteries  of 
heavy  guns  which  afforded  a  direct  and  enfilad-  Biair, 
ing  fire  upon  every  part  of  the  plateau,  which  Dec.XiW 
rose  gently  from  the  first  range  of  rifle-pits  to  the  vol.  xvn., 
base  of  the  embankment  which  formed  the  batter-  p-  655- ' 
ies."  Yet  it  was  not  in  the  nature  of  a  soldier  like 
Sherman,  even  in  the  face  of  obstacles  such  as  these, 
to  recoil  without  a  battle,  and,  after  two  days  of 
reconnaissances  which  would  have  discouraged  any 
but  the  most  daring  fighter,  he  ordered  an  assault  Dec.29,i86si 
over  the  ground  we  have  seen  described. 



W.  R. 
Vol.  XVTL, 
Part  I., 
p.  652. 

chap.  v.  Blair's  brigade  of  Frederick  Steele's  division  went 
in  on  the  left  and  John  F.  DeCourcy's  brigade  of 
G.  W.  Morgan's  division  on  the  right.  Over  that 
tangled  abatis,  through  the  clinging  quicksands  and 
the  icy  bayou,  up  the  perpendicular  banks  and  over 
the  plateau  filled  with  death-dealing  missiles,  Blair, 
"  leaving  his  horse  floundering  in  the  quicksands  of 
the  bayou,"  led  his  brigade  with  desperate  heroism, 
piercing  two  successive  lines  of  the  Confederate 
rifle-pits  and  pausing  only  at  the  very  foot  of  the 
enemy's  earthworks.  There,  turning  for  the  first 
time  to  look  round,  he  found  that  DeCourcy's 
brigade,  after  handsomely  crossing  the  bayou  at  a 
more  favorable  point,  had  not  been  able  to  with- 
stand the  withering  fire,  and  that  no  support  was 
forthcoming  from  any  quarter.  The  assault  was 
over,  and  Blair  had  only  to  bring  back  what  was 
left  of  his  gallant  brigade,  who  retired  in  good 
order.  An  attack  had  been  made  at  the  same  time 
by  the  Sixth  Missouri  Infantry,  who,  with  heavy 
loss,  had  crossed  the  bayou  lower  down,  but  could 
not  ascend  the  steep  bank ;  they  scooped  out  with 
their  hands  caves  in  the  perpendicular  wall  of  sand 
to  shelter  them  from  the  muskets  of  the  enemy,  fired 
vertically  over  the  parapet.  They  were  not  extri- 
cated from  this  critical  position  till  after  nightfall, 
and  then  one  at  a  time.  Blair's  brigade,  out  of 
about  1800  men  who  marched  into  action,  had  lost 
603  in  killed  and  wounded  and  missing  ;  DeCourcy's 
brigade  even  more  (724) ;  the  total  casualties  of 
Sherman's  force  being  1776.  "  Our  loss,"  says 
General  Sherman,  "  had  been  pretty  heavy,  and  we 
n>id.  had  accomplished  nothing  and  had  inflicted  little 
loss   on  our  enemy."    His  first  intention  was  to 



Vol.  L, 

p.  292. 


renew  the  assault  higher  up  the  river  on  the  next  chap.  v. 
day.  A  dense  fog  prevented  the  movement  of  the 
transports  and  the  cooperation  of  the  gunboats. 
Rain  began  to  fall  also,  and  Sherman  observing  the 
water  marks  upon  the  trees  ten  feet  above  ground 
concluded  to  abandon  the  attempt.  Reinforce- 
ments to  the  enemy  were  constantly  arriving ;  he 
could  hear  the  frequent  whistle  of  the  trains  at 
Vicksburg,  and  could  see  battalions  of  men  march- 
ing up  towards  Haines's  Bluff.  It  was  evident  that 
no  cooperation  from  Grant  in  the  interior  was 
probable,  and  he  had  had  no  communication  with 
him  since  parting  three  weeks  before.  He  em- 
barked his  forces  on  the  transports  and,  steaming 
down  the  Yazoo,  tied  up  again  at  Milliken's  Bend, 
where  General  McClernand  had  already  arrived  to 
supersede  him.  McClernand  took  command  of  the 
Army  of  the  Mississippi,  as  he  called  it,  the  next 
day,  dividing  the  forces  into  corps,  commanded 
respectively  by  Morgan  and  Sherman. 

General  McClernand  was  for  several  years  before 
the  war  a  Democratic  Congressman  from  the  State 
of  Illinois.  He  went  early  into  the  service,  and 
contributed  a  considerable  personal  and  political 
influence  to  the  support  of  the  Government  at  the 
outbreak  of  the  rebellion.  It  has  been  the  habit 
of  General  Grant's  biographers  to  represent  Mc- 
Clernand as  an  intimate  friend  of  President  Lin- 
coln and  as  owing  his  original  appointment  and 
subsequent  promotions  to  personal  favoritism. 
This  impression,  however  obtained,  is  entirely  in- 
correct. It  is  true  that  General  McClernand  was 
an  acquaintance  and  fellow-townsman  of  Mr.  Lin- 
coln, but  they  were  never  intimate  friends ;  their 


chap.  v.  relations  were  those  of  lifelong  political  opponents. 
But,  after  the  death  of  Senator  Douglas,  there  was 
probably  no  Democrat  in  the  State  of  Illinois,  ex- 
cept John  A.  Logan,  who  could  bring  such  a  decided 
and  valuable  support  to  the  Union  cause  as  Mc- 
Clernand,  and  there  was  none  who  entered  into 
the  war  with  more  of  zeal  and  loyalty. 

He  and  Logan  were  both  men  of  great  courage, 
ambition,  and  capacity ;  both  successful  lawyers 
and  politicians;  the  great  difference  between  them, 
which  was  developed  later,  was  that  in  addition  to 
the  ability,  influence,  and  energy  which  they  both 
possessed  in  something  like  an  equal  degree,  Logan 
exhibited  every  day  a  constantly  increasing  apti- 
tude for  military  command  and  the  highest  soldierly 
qualities,  not  only  of  courage  and  intelligence,  but 
of  strict  obedience  and  subordination,  which  latter 
McClernand  did  not  possess  and  seemed  incapable 
of  acquiring. 

But  these  deficiencies  of  character  had  not  be- 
come apparent  in  the  autumn  of  1862,  and  when,  in 
the  month  of  October,  he  came  to  Washington  and 
laid  before  the  President  a  plan  he  had  conceived  of 
extensive  recruiting  service  in  Illinois  and  other 
Western  States,  with  the  view  of  a  campaign  which 
was  to  liberate  the  Mississippi  Valley,  the  President 
and  the  Secretary  of  War  readily  gave  their  con- 
sent, with  an  understanding  that  he  was  to  have 
such  a  command  of  the  troops  which  were  to  be 
raised  in  great  part  by  his  own  personal  exertions, 
as  should  be  suitable  to  his  services  and  rank.  The 
general  plan  was  to  give  him  command  of  a  corps 
of  troops  taken  from  these  proposed  levies  and  an 
opportunity  to  take  part  in  the  coming  campaign 


for  the  opening  of  the  Mississippi  River.1  In  pur-  chap.  v. 
suance  of  this  understanding  General  Grant  was 
ordered  on  the  18th  of  December  to  put  General  Mc-  isea. 
Clernand  in  command  of  a  corps.  Grant  promptly 
obeyed  the  order  and,  as  we  have  seen,  his  telegram 
to  McClernand  was  delayed  by  Forrest's  raid. 
Sherman  got  away  from  Memphis  not  knowing 
of  his  supersession,  had  attacked  at  Chickasaw 
Bluffs  and  been  repulsed  before  the  new  com- 
mander arrived. 

While  lying  at  Milliken's  Bend  the  question  at 
once  arose  what  was  to  be  done  with  the  troops. 
Sherman  was  anxious  to  do  something  to  redeem 
the  ill-success  that  had  thus  far  attended  the  ex- 
pedition, and  McClernand  was  naturally  burning 
to  illustrate  his  new  command  by  some  striking 
feat  of  arms.  They  had  both  had  their  attention 
directed  to  the  post  of  the  enemy  on  the  Arkansas 
Eiver  some  forty  miles  above  its  mouth,  called 
by  the  Confederates  Fort  Hindman  and  by  the 
Union  troops  Arkansas  Post.    Greneral  Sherman 

1  The  following  is  the  text  of  tion   may   be    organized   under 

the  order  given  to  General  Mc-  General  MeClernand's  command 

Clernand  dated  October  20,1862,  against  Vicksburg,  and  to  clear        W.  R. 

and  the  indorsement  of  the  Presi-  the  Mississippi  River  and   open   Vp3^x?1"' 

dent  upon    it:    u Ordered,   that  navigation  to  New  Orleans."  p.  502. ' 

Major-General     McClernand  be,         [Indorsement] :    "  This  order,     Com^^& 

and  he  is,  directed  to  proceed  to  though  marked  confidential,  may 

the  States  of  Indiana,   Illinois,  be  shown  by  General  McClernand 

and  Iowa,  to  organize  the  troops  to  governors,   and  even  others, 

remaining  in  those  States  and  to  when  in  his  discretion  he  believes 

be  raised  by  volunteering  or  draft,  so  doing  to  be  indispensable  to 

and  forward  them  with  all  dis-  the  progress  of  the  expedition.    I 

patch  to  Memphis,  Cairo,  or  such  add  that  I  feel  deep  interest  in 

other  points  as  may  hereafter  be  the    success   of  the  expedition, 

designated    by   the    General-in-  and  desire  it  to  be  pushed  for- 

Chief ,  to  the  end  that  when  a  suf-  ward  with  all  possible  dispatch 

ficient  force,  not  required  by  the  consistently  with  the  other  parts 

operations  of  General  Grant's  com-  of  the  military  service, 
mand,  shall  be  raised,  an  expedi-  "A.  Lincoln." 





says  in  his  memoirs  that  on  the  very  day  McCler- 
nand  assumed  command  he  asked  of  him  "  leave  to 
go  up  the  Arkansas  and  clear  out  the  post."  Mc- 
Clernand  suggested  a  consultation  with  Admiral 
Porter,  which  ended,  somewhat  to  General  Sher- 
man's surprise,  in  McClernand's  taking  personal 
charge  of  the  expedition  instead  of  sending  him, 
and  in  Porter's  leading  his  flotilla  in  person  instead 
of  sending  a  subordinate.1 

The  expedition  once  resolved  upon  was  carried 
through  with  the  greatest  dispatch.  The  army 
and  the  fleet,  under  their  respective  energetic  com- 
manders, made  short  work  of  the  matter.  They 
reached  the  mouth  of  White  Eiver  on  the  8th  of 
January,  and  after  prompt  reconnaissances  as- 
saulted Fort  Hindman  by  land  and  by  water  on 
the  11th  of  January.    The  works  consisted  of  a 

i  General  McClernand,  in  his  re- 
port of  the  reduction  of  Arkansas 
Post,  dated  January  20,  1863, 
claims  for  himself  the  credit  of 
beginning  the  expedition,  "the 
importance  of  which,"  he  says, 
"  I  had  suggested  to  General  Gor- 

genee,  the  first  that  had  reached 
me,  that  General  Grant  had  fallen 
back  of  the  Tallahatchie,  and  as 
we  could  hear  not  a  word  of  Gen- 
eral Banks  below,  instead  of  re- 
maining idle  I  proposed  we  should 
move  our  entire  force  in  concert 

Chap.  V. 


Vol.  I., 

p.  296. 


W.  R. 

man  at  Helena,   December   30,    with  the  gunboatsto  the  Arkansas,    VparW1L' 

on  my  way  down  the  river."  But 
General  Sherman,  in  a  letter  to 
General  Halleck,  dated, ' '  on  board 
Forest  Queen,  January  5,  1863," 
gives  the  following  account  of 
the  conception  of  the  under- 
taking :  "  I  reached  Vicksburg  at 
the  time  appointed,  landed,  as- 
saulted, and  failed.  Reembarked 
my  command  unopposed,  and 
turned  it  over  to  my  successor, 
General  McClernand.  At  first  I 
proposed  to  remain  near  Vicks- 
burg to  await  the  approach  of 
General  Grant,  or  General  Banks 
to  cooperate,  but  as  General  Mc- 
Clernand   had    brought    intelli- 

which  is  now  in  boating  condition,  p.  701. 
and  reduce  the  Post  of  Arkansas 
where  seven  thousand  of  the 
enemy  are  intrenched  and  threat- 
en this  river.  One  boat,  the  Blue 
Wing,  towing  coal  barges  for  the 
navy  and  carrying  dispatches,  had 
been  captured  by  the  enemy,  and 
with  that  enemy  on  our  rear  and 
flank  our  communications  would 
at  all  times  be  endangered. 
General  McClernand  agreed,  and 
Admiral  Porter  also  cheerfully 
assented,,  and  we  are  at  this 
moment  en  route  for  the  Post 
of  Arkansas  fifty  miles  up  the 
Arkansas  River."  Ibid.,  p.  613. 


chap.  v.  four-bastioned  fort  commanding  a  bend  of  the 
river,  and  a  long  line  of  intrenchments  running 
from  the  river  to  an  impassable  bayou.  It  was 
defended  by  about  five  thousand  men.  Sherman 
commanded  the  right  and  Morgan  the  left  of  the 
Union  army,  while  Porter  in  person  directed  the 
vigorous  and  effective  attack  of  the  fleet.  After  a 
sharp  skirmish,  during  which  Sherman  got  within 
a  few  hundred  yards  of  the  intrenchments,  the 
white  flag  was  displayed,  and  Sherman  and  Morgan 
at  the  two  ends  of  the  line  rode  into  the  enemy's 
works.  An  instant  of  confusion  ensued,  which 
might  have  led  to  awkward  consequences,  as  Gen- 
eral Thomas  J.Churchill,  commanding  the  place,  as- 
serted that  he  had  not  authorized  the  display  of  the 
white  flag,  and  one  of  his  subordinates  on  the  left 
of  the  rebel  lines  refused  at  first  to  surrender ;  but, 
seeing  the  hopelessness  of  further  resistance, 
Churchill  ordered  his  troops  to  stack  their  arms, 
and  the  easy  and  valuable  victory  was  complete. 
The  Union  loss  was  slight  compared  with  the  mag- 
nitude of  the  result  accomplished. 

The  expedition  remained  three  days  to  complete 
the  destruction  of  the  rebel  works,  and  then,  under 
Grant's  orders,  returned  to  Napoleon  at  the  mouth 

Jan.,  1863.  of  the  Arkansas  Eiver  on  the  17th.  McClernand 
had  for  a  moment  the  intention  to  push  his  con- 
quest further  into  Arkansas,  but  while  planning 
this  movement,  his  justifiable  complacency  over  his 
victory  was  rudely  dashed  by  a  dispatch  from 
Grant,  written  upon  receiving  the  first  announce- 
ment of  the  expedition,  and  in  ignorance  of  its 
triumphant  result,  in  which  he  peremptorily  or- 
dered McClernand  to  return  to  the  Mississippi,  at 


the  same  time  telegraphing  Halleck  that  McCler-    chap.  v. 
nand  had  "  gone  on  a  wild  goose  chase  to  the  Post  of 
Arkansas,"  to  which  dispatch  Halleck  replied  with 
that  unfailing  confidence  and  support  with  which 
the  Government    favored  every    movement  and 
every  request  of  Grant,  "You  are  hereby  author-   Haiieckto 
ized  to  relieve  General  McClernand  from  command     SS^h, 
of  the  expedition  against  Vicksburg,  giving  it  to  vol  xvn.; 
the  next  in  rank,  or  taking  it  yourself."    Even      p.  555.'' 
after  Grant  received  the  news  of  McClernand's 
complete  success,  his  dislike  and  distrust  of  that 
general  made  it  impossible  for  him  to  regard  his 
conduct  with   approval  or  satisfaction.     General 
Badeau  says,  "  Lacking  any  confidence  in  McCler- 
nand's military  judgment,  and  supposing  that  the 
plan  emanated  solely  from  that  officer,  he  did  not     Badeau> 
give  it  the  same  consideration  it  would  have  re-   "mStory7 
ceived  had  he  known  that  Sherman  first  suggested     Grant?; 
the  idea."    The  relations  between  the  two  generals      p°u9".' 
were  such  that  it  was  only  a  question  of  time  when 
one  of  them  must  leave  the  service.    McClernand 
answered  Grant's  dispatch  in  an  angry  letter  con- 
trasting his  own  success  with  Grant's  failure  in 
Mississippi,  and  the  correspondence  between  them 
which  opened  in  this  inauspicious  way  continued 
in  the  same  tone  until  six  months  later  McCler- 
nand was  relieved  of  his  command. 

Although  it  cannot  be  denied  that  it  is  not,  as  a 
rule,  judicious  to  assign  to  a  general  in  the  field  a 
subordinate  who  is  distasteful  to  him,  we  cannot  but 
think  that  too  much  has  been  made  of  this  want  of 
harmony  between  McClernand  and  Grant,  so  far  as 
results  are  concerned.  The  order  appointing  Mc- 
Clernand to  the  command  of  the  Vicksburg  expedi- 


chap.  v.  tion  was  not  carried  into  effect  until  after  Sherman 
had  made  his  attack  and  failed ;  and  during  the  few 
days  when  McClernand  exercised  his  independent 
command  it  was  attended  with  the  most  brilliant 
possible  success.  It  is  useless  to  discuss  the  point 
whether  he  or  his  more  famous  subordinate  de- 
served the  credit  of  the  victory  of  Arkansas  Post. 
The  practical  fact  is  that  McClernand  at  least  did 
not  prevent  it.  It  was  within  the  undoubted  pre- 
rogative of  the  President  and  the  Secretary  of 
War  to  give  command  of  an  army  corps  to  a  gen- 
eral who  largely  by  his  own  personal  exertions  had 
raised  it  and  placed  it  in  the  field,  and  there  has 
been  more  than  enough  talk  among  professional 
military  writers  about  civilian  interference  in  ap- 
pointments to  high  command.  This  interference 
is  not  only  authorized  but  commanded  by  the  Con- 
stitution of  the  United  States,  which  places  these 
appointments  in  the  hands  of  the  civil  government, 
and  in  a  war  carried  on  by  thirty  millions  of  free 
people  the  President  who  would  entirely  disregard 
popular,  or,  as  some  prefer  to  call  it,  political  in- 
fluences, would  by  that  fact  show  himself  incapable 
of  understanding  or  properly  executing  the  duties 
of  his  office.  McClernand  was  not  the  only  soldier 
in  the  Western  army  who  owed  his  appointment  to 
such  considerations.  Grant  and  Sherman  them- 
selves were  constantly  favored  and  protected  by 
some  of  the  most  powerful  statesmen  in  Congress. 
McClernand's  fault  was,  not  that  he  had  been  a 
politician,  but  that  he  did  not  become  a  good  sol- 
dier ;  while  Blair  and  Logan,  who  in  civil  life  were 
more  popular  and  more  distinguished  politicians 
than  McClernand,  as  soon  as  they  put  on  army 


uniform  surpassed  him  equally  in  their  thorough    chap.  v. 
obedience  and  subordination  as  generals.     General     Grant, 
Grant  himself  bore  willing  witness  to  the  worth    Memoirs." 
of  Logan  and  Blair  as  soldiers.  pp-  *J£  573» 

If  McClernand  had  been  supported  at  Washing- 
ton in  his  attitude  of  insubordination  to  his  general, 
the  results  would,  of  course,  have  been  as  disas- 
trous as  such  a  course  would  have  been  ill-advised. 
But  there  never  was  the  slightest  disposition  on  the 
part  of  the  President  or  the  Secretary  of  War  to 
encourage  him  in  such  a  course.  Grant  was  made, 
from  beginning  to  end,  the  absolute  arbiter  in  all 
matters  affecting  the  administration  of  his  army. 
In  the  order  of  the  18th  of  December,  assigning  i862o 
McClernand  to  command,  it  was  expressly  stated 
that  he  was  to  be  "  under  the  direction  "  of  Grant, 
and  afterwards,  at  the  first  intimation  of  Grant's 
dissatisfaction  with  his  subordinate,  who  had  as 
yet,  it  must  be  said,  done  nothing  to  deserve  it, 
the  Government  authorized  him  to  relieve  McCler- 
nand from  command,  leaving  it  optional  with  Grant 
to  give  it  to  Sherman  or  to  take  it  himself,  and  this 
attitude  the  Government  maintained  until  the  last. 
At  the  beginning  of  the  final  campaign  against 
Vicksburg  the  Secretary  of  War  telegraphed: 
"General  Grant  has  full  and  absolute  authority 
to  enforce  his  own  commands,  and  to  remove  any 
person  who,  by  ignorance,  inaction,  or  any  cause, 
interferes  with  or  delays  his  operations.  He  has 
the  full  confidence  of  the  Government ;  is  expected   OM 

7  jt  Stanton  to 

to  enforce  his  authority,  and  will  be  firmly  and  Ma£a5n^863# 
heartily  supported ;  but  he  will  be  responsible  for  Voi!xxiv., 
any  failure  to  exert  his  powers.    You  may  com-     *ffit' 
municate  this  to  him." 



chap.  vi.  T  I  ^HE  most  important  result  of  the  lack  of  har- 
JL  mony  between  Grant  and  McClernand  was 
that  the  former,  not  wishing  to  nse  the  authority 
given  him  to  relieve  McClernand  of  the  command 
of  the  expedition  against  Vicksburg  in  favor  of 
Sherman,  his  junior,  determined  to  take  personal 
charge  of  it  himself ;  a  determination  to  which  we 
owe  one  of  the  most  brilliant  and  instructive  chap- 
ters in  all  our  annals.  In  accordance  with  orders 
from  the  War  Department  the  army  was  divided 
into  four  corps  numbered  and  commanded  as  fol- 
lows: the  Thirteenth  by  McClernand;  the  Fif- 
teenth by  Sherman ;  the  Sixteenth  by  Hurlbut,  and 
the  Seventeenth  by  McPherson.  General  Grant 
lost  no  time  in  thoroughly  completing  this  organ- 
ization of  his  forces;  but,  in  striking  contrast  to 
the  conduct  of  some  of  our  generals  in  the  East, 
he  did  not  spend  an  hour  in  mere  drill  and  disci- 
pline, rightly  believing  that,  with  an  army  com- 
posed like  that  of  the  Tennessee,  the  active  work  of 
a  campaign  was  the  best  possible  school.  Hurlbut's 
corps  was  left  in  charge  of  the  line  of  the  Memphis 
and  Charleston  Railroad,  and  McPherson's  was,  as 
rapidly  as  possible,  brought  down  the  river  to  join 



THE    CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    BAYOUS  145 

those  of   McClernand  and    Sherman    already  at 
Milliken's  Bend. 

General  Grant  now  found  himself  at  the  head  of 
an  army  which,  upon  any  ordinary  field,  would  have 
been  irresistible  to  any  force  the  enemy  were  able  to 
bring  against  him,  and  the  fact  that  for  three 
months  he  was  unable  to  make  a  single  inch  of  pro- 
gress only  shows  what  powerful  auxiliaries  the  army 
of  Pemberton  possessed  in  the  forces  of  nature  and 
the  singular  topography  of  the  country  in  which 
this  extraordinary  campaign  was  carried  on.  Vicks- 
burg,  planted  upon  a  plateau  two  hundred  feet 
high,  surrounded  by  formidable  outlying  works 
and  batteries,  defended  from  approach  on  the 
south  by  fortifications  as  far  as  Warren  ton,  and 
two  hundred  miles  further  down  the  river  by  the 
fortress  of  Port  Hudson,  impregnable,  thus  far,  to 
any  force  that  could  be  brought  against  it  from 
New  Orleans,  was  still  more  strongly  defended  on 
the  north  by  that  vast  network  of  bayou  and  marsh 
which  filled  the  entire  space  from  Vicksburg  to 
Memphis,  north  and  south,  and  from  the  Yazoo  to 
the  Mississippi,  east  and  west.  The  sanguinary 
experiment  of  the  Chickasaw  Bluffs  was  enough  to 
convince  General  Grant  of  the  impossibility  of  suc- 
cess by  direct  attack  on  the  enemy's  works  any- 
where between  Haines's  Bluff  and  Warrenton. 
There  was  no  soldier  in  the  army  upon  whose 
judgment  he  relied  so  thoroughly  as  upon  Sher- 
man's, and  certainly  no  subordinate  commander 
could  have  rushed  upon  the  enemy's  works  with 
more  valor  than  that  shown  by  Frank  Blair  on  the 
29th  of  December.  He  therefore  had  no  disposition  lsea. 
to  repeat  that  experiment.  He  says  in  his  report, 
Vol.  VII.— 10 



Chap.  VI. 



W.  R. 


Part  I., 

p.  44. 


nand  to 

Grant,  Jan. 

30,  1863. 


Part  III., 

p.  19. 

"  From  the  moment  of  taking  command  in  person 
I  became  satisfied  that  Vicksburg  could  only  be 
turned  from  the  south  side  " ;  and,  for  the  purpose 
of  accomplishing  a  movement  in  that  direction,  his 
first  plan  was  to  take  up  and  carry  out  with  the 
utmost  industry  and  energy  the  excavation  of  the 
canal  which  had  been  begun  by  General  Williams 
across  the  tongue  of  land  on  the  Louisiana  side, 
lying  in  a  loop  of  the  river  commanded  by  Vicks- 
burg. The  highest  hopes  were  built  upon  this 
work,  shared  not  only  by  the  successive  generals 
who  undertook  it,  and  by  Admiral  Porter  as  well, 
but,  upon  their  report,  by  President  Lincoln  and 
the  authorities  at  Washington.  After  setting  Mc- 
Clernand's  and  Sherman's  troops  at  work  upon  the 
canal,  Grant  went  to  Memphis,  where  he  spent 
a  week  making  his  final  preparations  for  the  cam- 
paign, and  then  returned  to  Vicksburg,  and,  on  the 
30th  of  January,  assumed  personal  command  of  the 
army.  General  McClernand,  who  had  looked  for- 
ward to  great  usefulness  and  great  fame  in  this 
capacity,  made  a  vociferous  protest  against  the 
action  of  Grant,  but  the  latter,  secure  in  his  posi- 
tion, simply  forwarded  the  protest  to  Washington, 
where  it  received  no  further  notice. 

As  soon  as  Grant  began  a  thorough  inspection  of 
his  troops  and  of  the  canal  upon  which  they  were 
engaged,  he  lost  much  of  the  faith  with  which  he  and 
others  had  hitherto  regarded  the  enterprise.  The 
current  of  the  river  was  almost  at  right  angles  to 
the  trench  and  its  lower  end  was  easily  commanded 
by  the  bluffs  on  the  Mississippi  side.  Nevertheless, 
he  was  not  inclined  to  drop  the  work  without  giv- 
ing it  a  thorough  trial,  and  the  exhausting  and 

THE    CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    BAYOUS  147 

unwholesome  toil  of  the  soldiers  lasted  for  nearly    chap.  vi. 
two  months  longer.    But  on  the  8th  of  March,  when       1863. 
the  excavation  was  almost   completed,  a  sudden     Report, 
rise  of  the  river  broke  down  the  northern  dyke  volxxiv., 

Part  I. 

which  guarded  the  canal,  and  flooded  not  only  the  p-  ^ 
enormous  ditch  but  the  entire  peninsula  as  well, 
destroying  to  a  great  extent  the  lateral  dyke  which 
protected  it  and  driving  the  troops  to  the  levee  to 
save  their  lives.  When  this  flood  subsided  the  ca- 
nal was  found  to  be  a  ditch  full  of  stagnant  water 
and  nothing  more.  The  current  refused  to  seek 
the  channel  provided  for  it  with  so  much  labor  and 
pains.  A  fortnight  more  of  severe  work  with 
dredging  machines  was  wasted  upon  it,  when  the 
batteries  from  the  Warrenton  Bluffs  got  the  range 
of  the  working  parties  and  the  work  was  at  last 
abandoned,  a  confessed  failure.  But  while  it  was 
going  on,  Grant,  having  a  large  surplus  of  men 
who  could  not  find  standing  room  on  the  narrow 
peninsula  of  Young's  Point,  devoted  great  labor 
and  care  to  three  other  enterprises  of  a  similar  na- 
ture by  which  he  hoped  to  derive  some  advantage 
from  the  singular  natural  features  of  the  country, 
which  had  hitherto  been  only  profitable  to  his  ad- 

On  the  west  side  of  the  Mississippi  the  network 
of  lakes  and  bayous,  which  on  the  east  were 
compressed  within  the  limits  of  the  Yazoo  bluffs 
and  the  Mississippi  River,  stretched  out  into  al- 
most illimitable  extent,  westward  over  the  greater 
part  of  the  State  of  Louisiana  and  southward  to 
the  Gulf  of  Mexico.  General  Grant  hoped,  by 
availing  himself  of  one  of  the  more  important  of 
the  bayous  on  this  side,  called  Lake  Providence,  to 



chap.  vi.  open  a  passage  through  the  Tensas  and  the  Wash- 
ita to  the  mouth  of  the  Red  River,  nearly  two 
hundred  miles  below,  and  in  that  way  to  effect  a 
communication  with  the  army  under  General 
Banks  and  the  navy  under  Farragut.  The  greater 
part  of  the  way  such  a  route  was  entirely  practi- 
cable, but  from  Lake  Providence  to  Bayou  Macon, 
about  six  miles'  distance,  the  only  thoroughfare 
was  Bayou  Baxter,  which  was  partly  stream  and 
partly  cypress  swamp.  To  open  this  route  it  was 
necessary  to  secure  a  channel  through  the  swamp, 
dig  up  the  stumps  of  trees  with  which  it  was  rilled, 
and  pierce  a  hole  in  the  Mississippi  River  levee 
opposite  Lake  Providence.  This  work  was  as- 
signed to  McPherson's  corps  and  prosecuted  with 
vigor  until  the  middle  of  March.  It  proved,  as 
usual,  to  be  far  more  difficult  than  the  most  accom- 
plished engineers  had  imagined.    The  men  worked 

Mcpherson  a  great  part  of  the  time  up  to  their  shoulders  in 
water,  and  the  task  of  clearing  the  channel  of  the 
cypress  stumps  was  exasperatingly  slow.  The 
levee  was  pierced  on  the  17th  of  March,  and  shortly 
afterwards  McPherson  reported  that,  with  a  few 
days  more  work  cutting  stumps  and  dredging  the 
shallows,  the  canal  might  be  made  practicable  for 
light-draft  boats.  By  this  time,  however,  Gen- 
eral Grant  had  formed  a  new  plan,  and  all  the 
labor  expended  on  the  Lake  Providence  route 
went  for  naught. 

Another  scheme  was  to  open  communication 
from  the  Mississippi  to  the  Coldwater  by  means 
of  a  Bayou  called  the  Yazoo  Pass,  which,  in  former 
years,  was  the  ordinary  means  of  transit  from 
Memphis  to  Yazoo  City.    But,  as  the  lands  in  this 


to  Grant, 

March  18, 


W.  R. 

Vol.  XXIV 

Part  III., 

p.  120. 



region  are  lower  than  the  surface  of  the  river  at 
high  water,  an  unusually  heavy  levee  had  been 
built  directly  across  the  Pass  for  the  purpose  of 
reclaiming  the  rich  bottoms.  It  was  resolved,  at 
the  end  of  January,  to  cut  this  levee  and  try  to 
reestablish  communication  by  water  between  the 
Mississippi,  the  Coldwater,  the  Tallahatchie,  and 
Yazoo  rivers.  By  this  route  General  Grant  only 
expected,  at  first,  to  enter  the  Yazoo  and  destroy 
the  enemy's  transports  in  that  stream  and  some 
gunboats  which  it  was  thought  were  building  there. 
The  levee  was  cut  on  the  3d  of  February  by  Colonel 
J.  H.  Wilson  of  the  Engineers,  and  in  a  few  hours 
the  opening  was  forty  yards  wide,  and  "  the  water 
pouring  through,"  says  Colonel  Wilson,  "  like 
nothing  else  I  ever  saw  except  Niagara  Falls.  Logs, 
trees,  and  great  masses  of  earth  were  torn  away 
with  the  greatest  ease."  As  soon  as  the  rush  of 
water  settled,  several  boats  steamed  into  the  Pass 
and  the  navigation  was  found  so  much  better  than 
had  been  expected  that  General  Grant  indulged, 
for  a  time,  the  hope  of  making  this  the  route  for 
obtaining  a  foothold  on  high  land  above  Haines's 
Bluff.  A  considerable  expedition  was  therefore 
sent  through  the  Pass,  which  succeeded  in  reaching 
the  Coldwater  on  the  2d  of  March  after  much  diffi- 
culty and  the  partial  disabling  of  most  of  the  boats; 
but  from  that  point  to  Fort  Pemberton  (a  Confed- 
erate fortification  extending  from  the  Tallahatchie 
to  the  Yazoo,  near  their  junction  at  Greenwood) 
the  expedition  found  no  special  obstacles  to  naviga- 
tion nor  any  considerable  interruption  from  the 
enemy;  but  the  land  around  the  fort  being  low 
and  mostly  overflowed,  it  was  impossible  to  effect 

Chap.  VI. 


Wilson  to 


Feb.  4,  1863 

W.  R. 


Part  I., 

p.  373. 



W.  R. 


Part  I., 

p.  45. 


chap.  vi.    a  landing,  and  the  works  were  too  strong  for  the 
Grant,      gunboats.      The   expedition   was  therefore   given 

vc/xxiv    UP  an(^  *ae  troops   withdrawn  in  the  latter  part 

pp^I'i"  of  March. 

Equally  futile  with  the  rest,  so  far  as  results  were 
concerned,  but  the  most  interesting  of  all  in  its 
personal  incidents,  was  the  attempt  to  turn  the 
works  at  Haines's  Bluff  (a  point  on  the  Yazoo  about 
fifteen  miles  above  Vicksburg)  by  the  way  of 
Steele's  Bayou.  While  the  expedition  just  men- 
tioned was  still  in  front  of  the  enemy  at  Fort  Pem- 
berton,  Admiral  Porter  made  a  reconnaissance  up 
Steele's  Bayou  towards  Deer  Creek,  and  gave  so 
favorable  a  report  of  the  navigability  of  those 
streams  that  Grant  imagined  it  might  be  possible 
to  get  through  by  that  route  to  the  Sunflower  River, 
and  thence  to  the  Yazoo,  which  would  bring  a 
Union  force  on  the  rear  of  Fort  Pemberton,  and  not 
only  insure  its  capture  but  also  give  an  invaluable 
advantage  of  position  in  the  campaign  against 
Vicksburg.     He  accompanied  the   admiral  on    a 

Mar. i5,i863.  second  trip  through  Steele's  Bayou  and,  seeing  no 
serious  obstacles  to  navigation  except  overhanging 
trees,  he  pushed  back  to  Young's  Point  and  dis- 
patched Sherman  with  a  division  to  join  Porter 

pp.  21," 46.  on  this  promising  mission.  Sherman,  going  ahead 
of  his  troops,  found  the  admiral  in  aggressive 
spirits  and  confident  of  reaching  the  Sunflower; 
but,  as  he  was  returning  to  bring  up  his  forces, 
he  received  a  message  from  Porter  saying  that 
he  had  unexpectedly  come  upon  a  force  of  the 
enemy  who  were  giving  him  great  annoyance, 
and  asking  him  to  come  immediately  to  his 

THE    CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    BAYOUS  151 

Sherman  took  a  canoe  and  paddled  down  the 
bayou  till  he  met  a  navy  tug  and  the  transport  tsjerman%> 
Silver  Wave  loaded  with  troops.  With  these  he  p01^' 
started  back  at  the  utmost  speed,  "crashing  through 
the  trees,  carrying  away  pilot-house,  smoke-stacks, 
and  everything  above  deck";  it  was  pitch-dark,  and, 
after  making  two  miles  and  a  half,  they  were  brought 
to  a  stop.  They  then  disembarked  and  marched 
through  the  cane-brake,  carrying  lighted  candles 
in  their  hands,  till  they  came  to  some  open  fields  ibid.,  p.  309. 
where  they  lay  down  for  a  nap.  They  were  up  and 
off  again  at  daylight ;  the  soldiers  could  not  com- 
plain of  the  forced  march  when  they  saw  General 
Sherman  trotting  on  foot,  at  the  double-quick,  at 
their  head ;  they  made  twenty-one  miles  by  noon. 
Their  speed,  says  General  Sherman,  "  was  accel- 
erated by  the  sounds  of  the  navy  guns,  which  be- 
came more  and  more  distinct"  as  the  relieving  iwa. 
force  pushed  on  to  the  rescue,  through  brake 
and  bayou,  sometimes  in  water  waist-deep.  At 
last  they  struck  a  small  body  of  Confederates  who 
were  felling  trees  across  the  stream  in  Porter's  rear, 
and  drove  them  away.  Here  Sherman  mounted  a 
barebacked  horse  and,  once  more  a  cavalier,  rode 
to  the  front  and  across  a  cotton-field,  to  where 
the  beleaguered  admiral  lay  in  the  miry  bayou.  He 
was  on  the  deck  of  one  of  his  ironclads,  standing 
full  armored,  inside  of  a  section  of  a  smoke-stack 
which  served  as  a  shield  against  the  rebel  sharp- 
shooters. The  rebels  had  obstructed  the  channel 
of  Deer  Creek  so  that  no  further  progress  in  that 
direction  was  possible,  and  the  opportune  arrival  of 
Sherman  had  prevented  their  doing  the  same  thing 
in  the  rear,  and  had  thus  saved  the  fleet  from  cap- 



Chap.  VI. 

March,  1863. 

Grant  to 


Apr.  12,1863. 

W.  R. 
Part  I.,p.28. 

ture  or  destruction.1  It  took  three  days  for  the 
boats  to  back  out  of  the  creek,  which  was  too  nar- 
row to  admit  of  their  turning,  but  the  expedition 
at  last,  on  the  27th,  arrived  at  Young's  Point 
without  loss. 

As  soon  as  General  Grant  heard  that  the  Deer 
Creek  expedition  had  failed  and  that  Admiral 
Porter  had  started  on  his  return,  he  ordered  the 
recall  of  the  Yazoo  Pass  expedition  from  Fort 
Greenwood,  and  immediately,  after  his  resolute 
fashion,  put  both  enterprises,  in  mercantile  phrase, 
to  the  account  of  profit  and  loss.  The  work  was 
not  entirely  without  its  value.  "It  carried  our 
troops,"  said  General  Grant,  "  into  the  heart  of  the 
granary  from  which  the  Yicksburg  forces  are  now 
being  fed,  it  caused  great  alarm  among  the  enemy, 
and  led  them  to  move  a  number  of  their  guns  from 
batteries  on  the  river."  Much  cotton  was  burnt, 
and  some  was  brought  away ;  a  great  quantity  of 
beef,  bacon,  poultry,  and  corn  was  consumed  or 
destroyed,  and  a  large  number  of  cattle  seized,  and 
several  hundred  negroes  returned  with  the  troops. 
But  after  all,  it  must  be  said  that  the  most  im- 
portant result  of  the  expedition  was  that  it  finished 
the  series  of  groping  and  tentative  enterprises 
which  during  three  months  had  occupied  the  West- 
ern army.  All  avenues  of  approach  towards  Yicks- 
burg had,  one  by  one,  been  tested,  and  the  successive 
failure  of  all  of  them  drove  General  Grant,  in  a 

1  "  I  learn  that  when  Admiral 
Porter  was  entrapped  by  the 
rebels  at  Deer  Creek,  week  before 
last,  his  situation  was  so  desper- 
ate that  when  Sherman's  forces 
arrived  to  relieve  him  they  found 

he  had  already  smeared  his  gun- 
boats with  turpentine  prepara- 
tory to  abandoning  them  and  set- 
ting them  afire." — C.  A.  Dana  to 
Stanton,  April  8,  1863.—  W.  R. 
Vol.  XXIV.,  Part  I.,  p.  72. 

THE    CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    BAYOUS  153 

manner  which  he  calls  "  providential,"  to  the  line  of  chap.  vi. 
operations  in  which  an  immense  success  awaited 
him.  He  now  determined  to  move  his  army  partly 
by  land,  and  partly  by  water,  to  a  point  below 
Vicksburg  on  the  Mississippi,  to  join  hands  with 
General  Banks,  and  effect  the  reduction  of  Port 
Hudson,  and  then,  with  the  united  armies  and 
fleets,  to  move  upon  Vicksburg  and  Pemberton's 
army.  The  same  cause  which  had  operated  at  last 
to  destroy  the  efficiency  of  his  canals  had  begun  to 
make  the  roads  practicable.  The  rainy  season  was 
ending ;  the  floods  of  the  early  spring  were  sub- 
siding; and,  although  the  roads  would  still  have 
been  counted  execrable  by  those  accustomed  to  the 
turnpikes  of  civilization,  they  had  become  as  good 
as  they  generally  are  in  that  land  of  perpetual 

This  was  the  dark  hour  of  General  Grant's  for- 
tunes. The  battle  of  Shiloh  had  not  increased  the 
fame  which  he  won  at  Donelson ;  the  credit  of  the 
partial  successes  at  Iuka  and  at  Corinth  had  gone 
exclusively  to  Rosecrans ;  the  unsuccessful  march 
upon  Grenada  and  the  disastrous  assault  at  Chicka- 
saw Bluffs  had  each  contributed  its  part  to  cloud 
his  reputation,  and  the  apparently  futile  gropings 
about  the  canals  and  bayous  had  done  nothing  to 
satisfy  the  intense  and  eager  expectations  with 
which  the  public  mind  had  for  months  been  di- 
rected towards  his  army ;  and  now,  just  upon  the 
eve  of  his  greatest  exploits,  distrust  and  suspicion 
became  general  throughout  the  country,  and  found  a 
voice  even  in  quarters  nearest  the  President.  On 
the  4th  of  April  the  Secretary  of  the  Treasury  sent  i863. 
to  Mr.  Lincoln  a  letter  from  one  of  the  ablest  and 


chap.  vi.  most  loyal  of  the  Western  journalists,  attacking 
General  Grant  in  the  bitterest  language,  accusing 
him  not  only  of  utter  incapacity,  but  of  flagrant 
misconduct,  and  demanding  in  the  name  of  the 
Western  people  and  the  Western  troops  that  his 
command  should  be  taken  from  him  and  given  to 
Rosecrans.  Mr.  Chase  added  to  this  letter  his  own 
strong  indorsement,  saying,  "  Reports  concerning 
General  Grant  similar  to  the  statement  made  by 
Mr. are  too  common  to  be  safely  or  even  pru- 
dently disregarded";  and  three  weeks  later  the 
Secretary,  being  in  Philadelphia,  felt  compelled  by 
his  disbelief  in  General  Grant  to  write  suggesting 
his  supersession  ;  "  unless  something  decisive,"  he 
says,  "  is  to  be  done  on  the  Mississippi  shore,  is  it 
not  clear  that  Grant's  army  should  be  made  to 
cooperate  otherwise  with  Rosecrans  ?  How  I  wish 
that  Sherman  was  at  the  head  of  that  army  instead 
of  Grant.  He  is  certainly  an  abler  and  better  and 
more  reliable  commander."  Yet  in  spite  of  this 
and  many  similar  attempts  to  destroy  his  confidence 
in  the  quiet  Western  general,  the  President  stood 
stoutly  by  him,  saying  he  should  have  his  chance, 
and  answering  the  over-zealous  people  who  accused 
Grant  of  intemperance,  by  the  famous  mot,  "If 
I  knew  what  brand  of  whisky  he  drinks  I  would 
send  a  barrel  or  so  to  some  other  generals." * 

There  were  but  three  courses  open  to  General 
Grant  at  this  juncture.  One  was  to  assault  the 
enemy's  works  in  front  —  from  which  his  reason 
and  conscience  both  revolted ;  another,  to  return 

1  We  think  this  jest  is  none  the  presence  accused  General  James 

less  authentic  for  being  a  variant  Wolfe  of  being  mad, — "  I   wish 

of  the  well-known  reply  of  King  he  would  bite  some  of  my  other 

George  II.,  when  somebody  in  his  generals." 

THE    CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    BAYOUS  155 

up  the  Mississippi  to  Memphis  and  from  Grand  chap.vl 
Junction  to  move  southward  on  the  line  of  the 
Mississippi  Central,  renewing  the  unsuccessful 
campaign  of  December  with  the  added  strength 
and  experience  which  he  and  his  troops  had  gained 
in  the  mean  time.  There  was  much  to  be  said  in 
favor  of  this  plan,  and  it  was  the  one  urged  upon 
him  by  one  of  the  ablest  generals  in  the  army. 
Od  the  8th  of  April  General  Sherman,  after  dis- 
cussing the  matter  verbally  with  General  Grant, 
wrote  him  a  letter  advising  the  seizure  and  fortifi- 
cation of  the  Yazoo  Pass,  the  Cold  water,  and  Talla- 
hatchie rivers ;  the  securing  and  reopening  of  the 
road  back  to  Memphis  and,  as  soon  as  the  water 
should  subside,  an  attack  upon  Grenada ;  then  to 
attack  the  line  of  the  Yallabusha  as  a  base  from 
which  to  operate  against  the  points  where  the 
Mississippi  Central  and  the  Vicksburg  and  Jack- 
son railroads  cross  the  Big  Black.  He  thought 
that  this  would  insure  the  capture  of  Vicksburg.1 
It  is  the  opinion  of  many  intelligent  soldiers  that 
this  plan  offered  better  chances  of  success  than  the 
one  which  was  actually  adopted,  and  it  is  known 
that  General  Grant  himself  was  of  the  opinion  that, 
by  cutting  loose  from  his  base  at  the  time  of  the 

1  General  Badeau  describes  the  ence  was  not  disclosed  by  Grant, 
manner  in  which  Grant  received  until  Sherman  himself  publicly 
this  letter:  "Colonel  Rawlins  related  the  incident,  after  the  in- 
handed  the  paper  to  Grant  with-  vestment  of  Vicksburg,  when 
out  saying  a  word ;  Grant  read  it  several  prominent  men  were  at- 
carefully,  but  in  silence,  and  after  tributing  to  him  the  conception 
the  perusal  was  finished  made  no  of  the  campaign  which  resulted 
comment.  The  orders  were  not  in  opening  the  Mississippi  River." 
revoked,  the  council  of  war  was  — Badeau,  "  Military  History  of 
not  called,  and  the  letter  has  never  U.  S.  Grant."  Vol.  I.,  p.  184. 
since  been  mentioned  between  See  also  Sherman,  u  Memoirs," 
the  two  commanders.    Its  exist-  Vol.  I.,  pp.  315-317. 


chap.  vi.    Forrest  and  Van  Dorn  raids,  lie  might  have  brought 
his  army  successfully  in  the  rear  of  Vicksburg.1 

But  neither  the  persuasion  of  his  nearest  friend 
and  favorite  general,  nor  the  evident  difficulties 
and  dangers  of  the  plan  he  had  chosen,  were  suffi- 
cient to  change  the  mind  of  General  Grant  when 
once  determined  upon  the  movement  to  the  south. 
He  was  never  in  the  habit  of  discussing  his  cam- 
paigns or  giving  many  reasons  for  his  actions,  but 
it  is  altogether  probable  that  what  are  contemptu- 
ously called  by  military  writers  political  consider- 
ations, which  Grant  was  too  wise  a  man  to  disregard, 
had  much  to  do  with  this  final  choice.  To  leave 
Vicksburg  and  transport  his  army  to  Memphis 
would  have  presented  to  both  sides  the  appearance 
of  a  retreat,  which  could  not  have  been  explained 
without  also  informing  the  enemy  of  General 
Grant's  intention  and  purpose ;  and  in  that  time  of 
gloom  and  stagnation,  in  the  period  between  Fred- 
ericksburg and  Chancellorsville,  a  retrograde  move- 
ment, on  so  great  a  scale,  on  the  part  of  the 
Western  army,  would  have  had  a  most  unfavor- 
able  effect  on  the  public  mind  of  the  North,  and 

1  General  Sherman  says :  "  He  to  Jackson  and  Vicksburg,  during 
has  told  me  since  the  war,  that  which  we  had  neither  depot  nor 
had  we  possessed  in  December  train  of  supplies.  I  have  never 
1862  the  experience  of  marching  criticized  General  Grant's  strat- 
and  maintaining  armies  without  egy  on  this  or  any  other  occa- 
a  regular  base  which  we  after-  sion,  but  I  thought  then  that 
wards  acquired,  he  would  have  he  had  lost  an  opportunity, 
gone  on  from  Oxford  as  first  con-  which  cost  him  and  us  six. 
templated,  and  would  not  have  months'  extra  hard  work,  for 
turned  back  because  of  the  de-  we  might  have  captured  Vicks- 
struction  of  his  depot  at  Holly  burg  from  the  direction  of  Ox- 
Springs  by  Van  Dorn.  The  dis-  ford  in  January,  quite  as  easily 
tance  from  Oxford  to  the  rear  of  as  was  afterward  done  in  July, 
Vicksburg  is  little  greater  than  1863." — "  Memoirs  of  General 
by  the  circuitous  route  we  after-  W.  T.  Sherman."  Vol.  I.,  p. 
wards  followed,  from  Bruinsburg  317. 

THE    CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    BAYOUS  157 

would  have  been  regarded  as  a  reason  for  profound    chap.  vi. 
encouragement  and  congratulation  on  the  part  of 
the  chiefs  of  the  rebellion  and  their  anxious  sym- 
pathizers in  Europe. 

Grant  selected  as  the  first  point  below  Vicks- 
burg  which  could  be  reached  by  land,  at  the  stage 
of  water  then  existing,  the  village  of  New  Carthage, 
and  directed  the  Thirteenth  Corps,  under  General 
McClernand,  to  start  for  that  point  on  the  29th  of 
March  ;  the  Fifteenth  and  Seventeenth  Corps  were  i863. 
to  follow.  The  movement  was  slow  and  laborious 
on  account  of  the  wretched  condition  of  the  roads, 
and  when  McClernand  arrived  in  the  vicinity  of 
New  Carthage,  it  was  found  that  the  levee  of 
Bayou  Vidal  was  broken  in  several  places,  and 
New  Carthage  was  surrounded  by  water.  A 
change  of  route  was  thus  made  necessary.  They 
marched  round  Bayou  Vidal  to  Perkins's  Planta- 
tion, which  made  a  journey  of  thirty-five  miles 
from  Milliken's  Bend  to  water  communication. 
While  this  march  was  going  on  the  attention  of 
the  enemy  was  distracted  by  sending  Steele's  di- 
vision up  the  river  to  Greenville,  one  hundred  and 
fifty  miles,  where  it  landed  and  raided  the  country 
in  the  neighborhood  of  the  Rolling  Fork,  and 
created  the  impression  on  Pemberton's  mind  that 
another  attack  was  imminent  from  that  direction. 

Meantime  Admiral  Porter  was  preparing  for  the 
long  contemplated  and  perilous  enterprise  of  run- 
ning past  the  batteries  of  Vicksburg  and  Warren- 
ton.  There  was,  strictly  speaking,  no  novelty  in 
this  attempt,  for  during  the  previous  two  months 
the  practicability  of  the  enterprise  had  been  demon- 
strated more  than  once.     The  ram  Queen  of  the 


chap.  vi.  West,  under  the  gallant  Colonel  Charles  R.  Ellet, 
had  run  by  the  batteries  in  open  day  on  the  morn- 

1863.  ing  of  the  2d  of  February,  and  had  then  dashed  up 
the  mouth  of  the  Red  River  and  captured  several 
Confederate  transports;  ten  days  afterwards  the 
gunboat  Indianola  had  run  the  same  gauntlet  by 
night,  though  both  boats  were  afterwards  attacked 
and  captured  by  the  Confederates.  On  the  14th 
of  March,  Farragut,  with  his  flag-ship,  the  Hartford, 
and  the  Albatross,  had  passed  the  batteries  at  Port 
Hudson,  the  rest  of  his  fleet  failing  to  get  by.  As 
these  two  vessels  were  not  strong  enough  to  main- 
tain the  blockade  of  the  Red  River,  General  A.  W. 
Ellet,  of  the  same  family  of  amphibious  fighters  as 
the  officer  above  mentioned,  sent  down  two  rams 
to  join  Farragut,  the  Lancaster  and  the  Switzerland. 
The  former  was  destroyed,  and  the  latter  much 
disabled,  but,  to  a  sailor  of  Porter's  temperament, 
these  partly  successful  ventures  simply  proved 
that  the  thing  could  be  done,  and  he  assured  Gen- 
eral Grant,  without  hesitation,  that  he  could  take 
his  fleet  past  the  batteries  at  any  moment  it  was 
required,  with  the  understanding  that  they  would 
probably  not  be  able  to  repass  them ;  and  on  the 
16th  of  April,  when  Grant  announced  his  readiness 
for  the  movement,  Porter  was  equally  prepared  for 
his  part  of  the  dangerous  enterprise. 

1863.  At  ten  o'clock  on  the  night  of  the  16th  of  April 

Admiral  Porter,  with  seven  ironclads,  three  river 
steamers,  and  ten  barges,  swung  into  the  stream 
and  floated  down  the  river.  There  was  no  moon ; 
the  fires  were  banked ;  no  lights  were  displayed, 
and  in  the  silence  and  darkness  the  fleet  glided 
through  the  shadows,  and  was  not  discovered  until 

THE    CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    BAYOUS  159 

fairly  abreast  of  the  town.  All  at  once,  at  the  first  chap.  vi. 
shots  from  one  of  the  batteries,  a  terrific  cannonade 
burst  from  the  terraced  heights  of  Vicksburg,  light- 
ing up  the  river  with  continuous  flashings,  and 
awakening  thunderous  echoes  over  many  miles  of 
river,  bluff,  and  bayou.  Heaps  of  combustibles, 
prepared  for  the  purpose,  were  fired,  and  the  torch 
was  applied  to  houses  along  the  river  bank,  which 
shed  a  light,  almost  as  bright  as  day,  upon  a  scene  of 
terrible  beauty.  Porter's  fleet  responded  instantly 
to  the  attack  of  the  forts,  and  his  gunboats  poured, 
one  by  one,  their  broadsides  into  the  town  as  they 
passed.  He  steamed  boldly  in  under  the  blazing 
bluffs,  while  the  transports,  gliding  as  near  as  they 
could  to  the  Louisiana  shore,  sought  to  escape  under 
cover  of  the  smoke  and  tumult  into  the  darkness 
beyond  the  town.  The  transports  passed  the  public 
place  opposite  the  court-house  a  little  after  mid- 
night, and  were  here  exposed  to  a  most  furious  fire ; 
the  batteries,  guided  by  a  light  like  that  of  a  lurid 
midday,  converged  their  fire  upon  the  passing 
vessels,  and  the  roar  of  artillery  from  the  bluffs  was 
answered  by  the  clear  ring  of  the  navy  guns  from  the 
river.  The  barges  were  cut  loose,  and  floated  down 
the  stream  to  their  destination  at  New  Carthage, 
while  the  naval  vessels  lingered  behind  to  cover 
the  rear  of  the  flotilla. 

In  spite  of  the  heavy  fire  to  which  they  were 
subjected,  there  was  comparatively  little  damage 
done ;  though  every  transport  was  struck,  only 
one  was  destroyed.  The  Henry  Clay  was  set  on 
fire  by  the  explosion  of  a  shell,  and  the  flames 
from  her  upper  works,  darting  aloft  into  the  clear 
darkness  of  the  night,  added  to  the  strange  im- 



Chaj\  VI. 

'*  Military 
of  U.  8. 
Vol.  I., 
pp.  192, 193. 

pressiveness  of  the  scene.  She  cast  loose  the 
barge  which  she  was  towing,  but  this  also  was 
soon  discovered  to  be  on  fire  ;  and  General  Sherman, 
who  was  watching  the  bombardment  in  a  small 
boat,  picked  up  the  pilot  as  he  floated  from  the 
wreck.  The  crew  scrambled  ashore  and  hid  behind 
the  levee  till  the  firing  was  over,  and  then  made 
their  way,  through  the  flooded  bottoms,  to  their 
camps.  The  whole  population  of  Vicksburg  had 
been  drawn  from  their  beds  by  the  light  and  the 
noise,  and  watched  with  a  deep  interest,  from  the 
wide  circle  of  hills,  the  blaze  and  tumult  of  this 
extraordinary  battle.  It  lasted  two  hours  and  a 
half,  but  at  last  the  barges  had  floated  southward 
into  the  sheltering  darkness  ;  the  blazing  wreck  had 
burned  down  to  the  water's  edge ;  the  gunboats, 
sending  their  useless  Parthian  shots  defiantly 
backward,  had  steamed  out  of  range ;  the  Tuscum- 
bia  herded  the  last  stragglers,  bringing  up  the 
rear ;  and  the  silence,  only  deeper  for  this  midnight 
disturbance  of  fire  and  fury,  again  enveloped 
Vicksburg  and  its  girdle  of  forts.  When  the  barges 
first  came  floating  down  the  stream,  and  the  burn- 
ing wreck  of  the  Henry  Clay  was  seen,  the  rebels  on 
the  plantations  below  imagined  that  the  Yankee 
fleet  had  been  destroyed;  and  even  at  McClernand's 
headquarters  the  officers  were  not  without  fear  of 
such  a  disaster ;  but  one  by  one  the  transports,  the 
barges,  and  at  last  the  exultant  naval  vessels 
gathered  in,  and  it  was  found  that  the  peril  of  the 
passage  had  been  more  apparent  than  real.  No 
one  was  killed  on  the  gunboats,  eight  only  were 
wounded,  and  all  of  Admiral  Porter's  vessels  were 
ready  for  service  within  half  an  hour  after  passing 

THE    CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    BAYOUS  161 

the  batteries.  The  success  was  so  perfect  that  a 
few  days  later  Grant  sent  another  fleet  of  six  vessels 
past  the  batteries  with  the  loss  of  only  one.  Their 
crews,  with  two  exceptions,  declined  the  dangerous 
service,  but  a  call  for  volunteers  produced  from  the 
hardy  soldiers  of  Illinois  and  Missouri  men  enough 
to  have  manned  a  hundred  vessels.1 

Grant,  having  thus  accumulated  a  sufficient  num- 
ber of  transports  to  effect  his  crossing  of  the  river, 
rapidly  transferred  McClernand's  force  from  Per- 
kins's Plantation  to  a  village  called  Hard  Times,  a 
short  distance  above  the  gulf -like  bend  of  the  river 
upon  which  the  Confederate  fort  at  Grand  Gulf 
was  situated.  Two  divisions  of  McPherson's  corps, 
headed  by  General  Logan,  marched  close  behind 
them,  and  on  the  29th  of  April  everything  was  i863, 
ready  for  the  movement  upon  Grand  Gulf.  Sher- 
man was  left  behind  at  Milliken's  Bend.  There 
were  so  few  roads,  and  they  were  in  such  bad  con- 
dition, that  it  was  a  slow  business  for  one  corps  to 
wait  till  the  one  in  advance  had  cleared  the  route. 
Sherman,  while  waiting  for  his  orders  to  march, 
received  a  letter  from  General  Grant  announcing 
his  purpose  to  cross  over  and  attack  Grand  Gulf, 
and  suggesting  that  he  could  usefully  employ  this 
time  of  waiting  by  making  a  demonstration  upon 
Haines's  Bluff.  It  was  a  suggestion  Grant  made 
with  reluctance,  as  he  feared  the  feint  might  be 
taken  for  a  genuine  attack  and  repulse,  and  sub- 

1  Commenting  upon  this,  Gen-  men  are  called  upon  to  do,  me- 

eral  Grant  says  in  his  report :  "  It  ehanical  or  professional,  that  ac- 

is  a  striking  feature,  so  far  as  my  complished    adepts    cannot    be 

observation  goes,  of  the  present  found  for  the   duty  required  in 

volunteer    army  of    the    United  almost  every  regiment." — W.  R. 

States,  that  there  is  nothing  which  Vol.  XXIV.,  Part  I.,  p.  47. 

Vol.  VII.— 11 


chap.  vi.  ject  General  Sherman  to  misconstruction  and  criti- 
cism in  the  North.  It  is  true  that  General  Sherman 
was  not  more  fond  of  calumnious  attack  than 
others,  but  where  he  saw  an  opportunity  of  making 
himself  useful  he  was  ready  to  take  the  chances  of 
criticism  as  well  as  of  bullets ;  so  without  a  mo- 
ment's hesitation  he  replied  that  he  would  make 
the  feint  required,  and  set  about  it  in  a  bustling 
and  boisterous  manner,  with  a  great  movement  of 
camps,  and  a  blowing  of  whistles,  and  the  moving 
up  and  down  of  all  the  transports  he  could  get 
afloat.  He  took,  however,  only  ten  of  the  smallest 
regiments  he  could  find,  to  make  a  show  of  force. 

Ali863?9'  In  this  way  he  proceeded,  with  as  much  noise  and 
ostentation  as  was  possible,  in  the  direction  of 
Haines's  Bluff.  The  demonstration  was  perfectly 
successful,  as  it  distracted  the  attention  of  Pem- 
berton  and  drew  away  a  considerable  portion  of 
his  troops  at  a  most  critical  time. 

A  still  more  serious  distraction  and  damage  was 
that  spread  through  the  whole  interior  of  the  State 
of  Mississippi,  from  Grand  Junction  to  Baton  Eouge, 
by  the  cavalry  of  General  B.  H.  Grierson.  This  ex- 
pedition, one  of  the  most  important  of  the  kind 
during  the  war,  was  organized  at  La  Grange  in  the 
1863.  middle  of  April  by  General  Hurlbut  in  pursuance  of 
General  Grant's  orders.  Its  mission  was  to  ride 
through  the  State  of  Mississippi  to  some  safe  point 
on  the  river  below  Vicksburg ;  to  destroy  the  rail- 
roads on  its  course ;  to  cut  off  supplies,  and  in  short 
to  do  all  the  damage  possible  to  the  Confederate 
cause  and  as  little  as  possible  to  peaceable  people. 
General  Grant  hoped  that  this  expedition  might  test 
the  idea  he  entertained  that  the  pressure  of  war 

THE    CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    BAYOUS  163 

had  forced  to  the  border  all  the  available  forces  of    chap.  vi. 
the  Confederacy,  and  that  the  interior  would  be     Badeau, 

"  7  "Military 

found  to  be  a  hollow  shell.    The  expedition  of     S'v^i 
Grrierson  went  far  to  confirm  this  impression.    He     voll,' 
started,  on  the  17th  of  April,  with  seventeen  hun-  pp<  188' 189, 
dred  men,  but  soon  detached  one  regiment,  under 
Colonel  Edward  Hatch,   to  destroy  the  railroad 
between  Columbus  and  Macon  and  return  north; 
he  was  not  wholly  successful  but  made  an  effi- 
cient diversion  of    some  of    the  enemy's  force. 
Grrierson   rode   rapidly  down   to    the    Vicksburg 
and  Meridian  Eailroad,  tearing  up  several  miles  of 
the  track  near  Meridian;  moving  then  to  the  south-    GReepo?t!' 
west,  he  broke  up  the  railroad  between  Jackson     ay5> 
and  New  Orleans ;  still  riding  southward,  he  beat 
a  detachment  of  cavalry  sent  out  to  intercept  him 
from  Grand  Grulf,  and  leaving  Port  Hudson  on  his 
right  he  rode  into  the  Union  camp  at  Baton  Rouge 
on  the  2d  of  May.    He  had  traversed  the  State  of 
Mississippi,   600  miles  in  sixteen  days;  he  had      w. r. 
captured  500  prisoners;  he  had  destroyed  over  fifty     %*r;'  ' 

PP*  528 1  52*7 1 

miles  of  railroad  and  telegraph,  and  a  vast  amount 
of  military  stores;  had  burned  several  factories 
producing  supplies  for  the  Confederate  army; 
broken  up  several  locomotives  and  unnumbered 
bridges ;  he  had  spread  terror  and  dismay  through 
a  vast  extent  of  country ;  and,  from  one  end  to  the 
other  of  the  State,  he  had  thrown  confusion  and 
disorder  into  the  Confederate  councils,  at  the  very 
moment  of  all  others  when  concentration  against 
their  formidable  enemy  on  the  Mississippi  was  a 
vital  necessity  to  the  Confederacy  in  the  West. 

Scarcely  less  remarkable  than  the  gallantry  and 
swiftness  of  his  march  was  the  generosity  and 



Chap.  VI. 

W.  R. 

Vol.  XXIV. 

Part  III., 

p.  702. 

kindness  "with  which  Grierson  treated  the  people  of 
the  district  through  which  he  rode.  On  approach- 
ing a  town  he  would  send  a  battalion  in  advance  to 
establish  pickets,  protect  property,  maintain  order, 
and  quiet  the  fears  of  the  inhabitants.  At  some 
points,  where  he  found  the  citizens  in  arms  for  the 
defense  of  their  homes,  even  after  they  had  fired 
upon  his  troops  and  had  been  captured,  he  would 
kindly  represent  to  them  the  folly  of  their  acts  and 
release  them.  This  magnanimity  had  the  happiest 
effect.  In  some  cases  the  citizens,  grateful  for  this 
unexpected  kindness,  volunteered  valuable  informa- 
tion and  even  offered  to  serve  as  guides. 

Grant  was  now  ready,  after  all  these  months  of 
experiment  and  preparation,  to  throw  his  forces 
in  a  compact  mass  against  the  enemy.  His  action 
at  this  point  has  been  fancifully  compared  to  that 
of  the  wild  bee  in  the  Western  woods,  who,  rising 
to  the  clear  air,  flies  for  a  moment  in  a  circle,  and 
then  darts  with  the  speed  of  a  rifle-bullet  to  his 
destination.  If  Pemberton  had  been  ready  to  meet 
him  with  the  same  energy  and  order,  the  issue  of 
the  contest  might  have  been  very  different,  for 
there  was  no  great  disparity  of  forces  between 
them.  Pemberton's  report  of  the  31st  of  March 
showed  an  aggregate  of  82,318,  of  whom  61,495 
were  present,  and  48,829  fit  for  duty.  They  were 
all  within  reasonable  distance  of  each  other,  so  that 
they  might  have  been  readily  concentrated.  Gen- 
eral C.  L.  Stevenson  had  22,000  effectives  holding 
the  Vicksburg  line  from  Haines's  Bluff  to  Grand 
Gulf ;  General  Franklin  Gardner  had  over  16,000 
at  Port  Hudson;  while  W.  W.  Loring,  in  the 
neighborhood    of  Grenada  and  Fort  Pemberton, 

THE    CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    BAYOUS  165 

had  an  army  of  7000.  There  were  from  5000  to 
10,000  others  scattered  in  small  garrisons  about 
the  State;  the  greater  portion  of  them  watching 
Hurlbut  in  the  North.  They  had  the  great  ad- 
vantage over  Grant  of  high  and  dry  roads  and 
ready  communication  by  rail  and  telegraph. 

But  they  did  not  make  use  of  their  advantage.  It 
is  true  that  Grand  Gulf,  the  point  immediately 
threatened  by  Grant,  had  been  garrisoned  early  in 
March  by  a  brigade  under  General  John  S.  Bowen, 
who  had  detached  three  of  his  regiments  to  the  right 
bank  of  the  river  to  watch  McClernand's  advance. 
But  the  mind  of  General  Pemberton  had  been  so 
long  fixed  upon  the  idea  of  an  attack  upon  his  right 
flank  that  he  was  slow  to  credit  the  rumors  of  an 
advance  in  force  upon  his  left.  Many  things  con- 
spired to  trouble  and  mislead  him  on  this  point. 
The  successive  demonstrations  into  Deer  Creek  and 
Sunflower,  the  bewildering  raid  of  Grierson,  and 
finally,  the  most  important  of  all,  the  sailing  of 
Ellet's  marine  brigade  up  the  river,  under  orders  to 
the  Tennessee,  were  circumstances  that,  altogether, 
afforded  some  justification  for  his  unfortunate  in- 
credulity, in  which  it  must  be  said  the  commander- 
in-chief  of  the  district,  General  J.  E.  Johnston, 
shared.  Under  the  impression  that  Grant  was 
preparing  for  another  move  southward  from  the 
direction  of  Memphis,  a  considerable  portion  of 
Pemberton's  command  was  ordered  to  the  Ten- 
nessee line,  and  it  was  only  after  the  passage  of  the 
fleet  that  Pemberton  and  Johnston  began  to  realize 
the  magnitude  of  the  demonstration  upon  their  left. 
The  troops  on  their  way  to  Tennessee  were  ordered 
back,  and  Bowen's  detachment  to  the  west  of  the 


W.  R 


chap. vi.  river  was  hastily  recalled  just  in  time  to  escape 
capture.  Even  then  Pernberton's  doubts  had  not 
deepened  into  certainty,  though,  on  the  23d  of 
April,  from  his  headquarters  at  Jackson,  he  warned 
General  Stevenson  at  Vicksburg  that  Warrenton 
or  Grand  Gulf  was  threatened  and  that  he  must 
hold  all  his  troops  ready  to  be  directed  upon  either 

Yptrt fix"'  °^  these  points.  But  a  week  after  this  Sherman 
p.  780.  made  his  imposing  feint  at  Haines's  Bluff,  and 
again  threw  doubt  and  perplexity  into  the  mind  of 
the  Confederate  commander.1  At  this  same  mo- 
ment he  heard  from  General  Bowen  of  the  arrival 
of  a  heavy  force  at  Hard  Times,  and  he  hurriedly 
ordered  a  brigade  from  Port  Hudson  and  directed 
Stevenson  to  hold  5000  more  troops  in  readiness  to 
move  to  Bowen's  help,  whose  force,  increased  by  that 
of  General  M.  E.  Green,  amounted  by  this  time  to 
about  5000.  But  owing  to  the  state  of  uncertainty 
existing  in  Pemberton's  mind  as  to  which  of  his 
flanks  was  actually  attacked,  this  force  from  Ste- 
venson was  not  sent.  After  all  the  delays  and  all 
the  warnings,  Grant  arrived  at  Grand  Gulf  before 
he  was  expected,  and  before  adequate  preparations 
had  been  made  to  receive  him. 

This  quiet  river  hamlet  was  the  terminus  of  a 
little  railway  running  to  Port  Gibson.  It  was 
strongly  fortified  and  had  a  certain  importance  as 
commanding  the  mouth  of  the  Big  Black  River. 

!Mr.  Jefferson  Davis,  who  is  his  troops  that  feint  could  have 

always  anxious  to  defend  Pern-  been  converted  into   a  real  at- 

berton,   referring   to   this    dem-  tack,    and   the    effort    so    often 

onstration   of   Sherman's,    says :  foiled  to  gain  the  heights  above 

"  Finding  due  preparation  made  Vicksburg  would  have  become  a 

to  resist   an    attack  there,   this  success." — Davis,  "  Rise  and  Fall 

demonstration  was  merely  a  feint,  of  the  Confederate  Government." 

but   had   Pemberton   withdrawn  Vol.  II.,  p.  400. 

THE    CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    BAYOUS  167 

Porter  attacked  the  works  with  his  usual  energy  chap.  vi. 
on  the  morning  of  the  29th  of  April,  and  continued  i863. 
a  furious  bombardment  until  afternoon,  under  the 
eye  of  Grant,  who  watched  the  engagement  from  a 
tug  in  the  stream.  He  had  loaded  all  the  trans- 
ports and  barges  in  his  reach  with  three  divisions 
of  McClernand's  corps,  intending  to  assault  the 
enemy's  works  at  the  moment  that  Porter  should 
have  silenced  or  materially  disabled  the  Confed- 
erate batteries.  But  after  five  hours  of  a  furious 
cannonade  it  became  evident  to  both  the  admiral 
and  the  general  that  no  impression  could  be  made 
by  the  gunboats  upon  works  so  strong  and  so  well 
defended,  and  at  such  an  elevation  as  those  of 
Grand  Gulf.  It  was  characteristic  of  Grant  that 
he  did  not  at  this  juncture  waste  an  hour  in  doubt 
or  in  new  preparations.  After  having  become  con- 
vinced that  he  could  not  take  the  batteries,  he  im- 
mediately landed  his  troops  at  Hard  Times,  and 
marched  them  across  the  narrow  peninsula  oppo- 
site Grand  Gulf,  reaching  dry  ground  on  the  Mis- 
sissippi three  miles  below,  at  a  plantation  called 
De  Schroon's.  When  night  fell  Porter  renewed  his 
fire  upon  the  forts,  and  in  the  midst  of  the  racket 
the  transports  and  gunboats  came  down  and  joined 
the  army  almost  without  damage.  Here,  after 
what  would  have  seemed  to  some  commanders  a 
day  of  failure,  Grant,  whose  quiet  courage  and 
steadfast  faith  had  taken  the  repulse  at  Grand 
Gulf  as  a  mere  incident  of  the  day's  work  having 
no  bearing  on  the  ultimate  success  of  his  expedi- 
tion, absolutely  sure  after  all  his  misadventures 
that  he  was  now  upon  the  right  track,  sent  this 
remarkable  dispatch  to  Washington:  "The  gun- 



Chap.  VI. 

Grant  to 
April  29, 

1863.     W.  R. 


Part  L, 

p.  32. 

boats  engaged  Grand  Gulf  batteries  from  8  a.  m. 
until  1  p.  M.,  and  from  dusk  until  10  p.  M.  The 
army  and  transports  are  now  below  Grand  Gulf. 
A  landing  will  be  effected  upon  the  east  bank  of 
the  river  to-morrow.  I  feel  that  the  battle  is  now 
more  than  half  won." 



GENERAL  GRANT  passed  the  night  of  the   chap.vil 
29th  of  April,  1863,  in  giving  minute  and 
elaborate  orders  for  the  movement  of  the  morrow. 
He  provided  for  the  safety  of  his  camp  against 
sudden  attack ;  for  the  bringing  forward  of  a  full 
supply  of  rations ;  he  ordered  the  chief  commissary 
of  the  Thirteenth  Corps  to  provide  that  command     Badeau, 
with  three  days'  rations  for  their  subsistence  for   "mluS? 
five  days,   writing  all  these  orders  with  his  own     Grant."' 
hand.    Early  on  the  morning  of  the  30th  McCler-  pp.  204, 205. 
nand's  corps  passed  down  the  river  closely  followed 
by  McPherson,  and  landed  at  Bruinsburg,  six  miles 
below  De  Schroon's,   on  the  east  bank.    It  was 
Grant's  intention  to  go  to  Rodney,  ten  miles  fur- 
ther, from  which  point  he  knew  there  was  a  good 
road  to  Port  Gibson,  but  he  ascertained  from  an 
intelligent  negro   that  a  road  ran  directly  from 
Bruinsburg  over  the  hills  to  that  place.    He  there- 
fore hurried  McClernand's  force  over  the  river  with 
the  greatest  dispatch,  and,  as  soon  as  they  could  be 
supplied  with  rations  for  three  days  in  their  haver- 
sacks, they  set  out  for  the  hills,  two  miles  and  a 
half   inland,   which    they  found,   to   their    great 
relief,  entirely  unoccupied.    They  had  still  an  hour 

170  ABE  AH  AM    LINCOLN 

chap.  vii.   of  daylight  before  them  and  Port  Gibson  was  only  ten 
miles  away.     They  marched  through  the  late  after- 
Grant,      noon  and  far  into  the  night,  meeting  no  obstacle 

ju?y??i863.  until,  about  an  hour  after  midnight,  McClernand's 

voi.xxiv.,  skirmishers  came  up  with  the  enemy,  posted  four 
iM8."'  miles  to  the  west  of  Port  Gibson.  This  was  a  vil- 
lage deriving  its  sole  importance  from  the  junction 
of  a  number  of  radiating  roads,  one  of  which  com- 
manded the  route  of  retreat  from  Grand  Gulf  by  way 
of  Willow  Springs,  ten  miles  to  the  east.  It  was 
the  first  place  at  which  the  advance  of  Grant  could 
be  disputed,  and  its  occupation  would  render  Grand 
Gulf  untenable.  Both  sides  rested  on  their  arms 
until  morning  when,  with  the  earliest  light,  the 

May  1,1863.  battle  of  Port  Gibson  began. 

The  Confederate  forces  consisted  of  a  portion  of 
the  garrison  of  Grand  Gulf,  which  had  been  hastily 
detached  as  soon  as  General  Bo  wen  became  aware 
of  the  flanking  movement  of  the  day  before.  Pem- 
berton  had  also  taken  the  alarm,  and  had  ordered 
Stevenson  to  send  the  five  thousand  men  already 
directed  to  be  held  in  readiness.  The  road  from 
Bruinsburg  divides  some  four  miles  west  of  Port 
Gibson,  to  meet  again  before  entering  the  town,  and 
it  was  there  that  McClernand's  advance  had  found 
the  Confederates  posted:  Green's  brigade  on  the 
south  branch  of  the  road  and  E.  D.  Tracy's  on  the 
north.  The  Confederates  made  a  brave  stand,  and 
were  greatly  assisted  by  the  character  of  the  ground, 
which  was  rough  and  broken  and  almost  impass- 
able by  cause  of  steep  ravines  and  undergrowth. 
But  the  Union  force  was  too  heavy  for  them.  Peter 
J.  Osterhaus's  division  was  placed  on  the  left  and 
attacked  Tracy's  brigade  on  the  northern  road.   The 


divisions  of  E.  A.  Carr,  Hovey,  and  Andrew  J.  chap.vii. 
Smith  attacked  Green,  an  honr  later,  on  the  south- 
ern road;  he  was  soon  dislodged  by  the  Union 
right,  and  driven  slowly  along  the  road ;  but  Tracy 
held  Osterhaus  in  check  until  later  in  the  day, 
when  Logan's  division  of  McPherson's  corps  came 
on  the  field,  and  McPherson  brought  one  brigade 
of  it  into  the  fight  under  his  own  eye.  The  enemy 
soon  gave  way  in  front  of  McPherson  and  Logan ; 
and  although  reenf orced  from  Vicksburg  during  the 
fight,  his  whole  line  speedily  followed,  retreating 
through  Port  Gibson  and  taking  refuge  for  the 
night  beyond  the  forks  of  Bayou  Pierre.  General 
Bowen  with  his  8000  men  (including  his  reinforce- 
ments) had  made  a  gallant  fight,  but  it  was  useless 
for  him  to  attempt  to  stand  against  l^OOO.1  The 
losses  on  each  side  were  nearly  equal,  the  Union 
loss  being  875  and  the  rebel  loss  832. 

General  Pemberton,  who  was  by  this  time  con- 
vinced that  an  attack  in  force  was  in  progress  on 
his  left  flank  and  that  Grant's  army  was  pouring 
through  Bruinsburg  like  a  flood  through  a  crevasse, 
had  left  Jackson  and  hurried  to  Yicksburg,  ca]ling 
in  his  scattered  detachments  from  every  side  to 
oppose  the  invasion.  He  made  what  hasty  disposi- 
tions were  in  his  power  to  defend  the  line  of  the 
Big  Black  River.  General  Loring  was  ordered 
from  Meridian  to  Rocky  Springs,  and  sending  Lloyd 
Tilghman  to  Grindstone  ford,  on  the  north  bank  of 
Bayou  Pierre  to  delay,  if  possible,  the  crossing  of 

1Badeau,    in    his    history    of  General    Rawlins,    his    chief  of 

Grant,   Vol.    I.,    p.    207,   gives  staff ;  but  a  comparison  of  all  the 

Bowen's  number  at  eleven  thou-  available  reports  on  both  sides 

sand  as  the  careful  estimate  of  brings  us  to  the  conclusion  that 

General   Grant   himself  and   of  Bowen's  force  was  less  than  that. 


chap.  vii.  the  National  forces  at  that  point,  he  rode  over  to 
Grand  Gulf ;  and,  after  consultation  with  Bowen, 
who  had  retreated  there  after  the  battle  of  Port 
Gibson,  the  place  was  hurriedly  evacuated  and 
at  once  occupied  by  Admiral  Porter. 

May,  1863.  As  soon  as  day  dawned  on  the  2d  McClernand's 
corps  dashed  into  the  town  and  beyond,  until  their 
progress  was  arrested  by  the  south  fork  of  Bayou 
Pierre  where  the  Confederates  in  retreating  had 
burnt  the  bridges.  The  Union  troops  set  to  work 
with  the  utmost  zeal  to  build  them  anew,  flounder- 
ing in  the  water,  swarming  like  bees  over  the 
blackened  timbers,  and  tearing  down  all  the  houses 
within  reach  for  planking.  Two  of  Logan's  bri- 
gades, not  waitiDg  for  the  completion  of  the  bridges, 
forded  the  bayou  and  pushed  on  to  the  left.  Ee- 
enforcements  to  Grant  were  constantly  arriving 
from  the  west  side  of  the  river,  and  McPherson's 
corps  having  been  strengthened  by  the  addition  of 
M.  M.  Crocker's  division,  Grant  ordered  him  to  push 
forward  and  attack  the  enemy  in  the  direction  of 
Willow  Springs.  He  reached  the  North  fork  at 
Bayou  Pierre  and  found  the  Grindstone  bridge 
over  it  on  fire.  He  repaired  it  during  the  night 
and  crossed  his  troops  at  daylight.  Meeting  with 
little  resistance  on  the  northern  bank  he  drove  the 
enemy  through  Willow  Springs,  thus  cutting  off 
what  garrison  there  might  be  at  Grand  Gulf  from 
communication  with  their  friends  on  the  east. 
Logan  and  Crocker  kept  up  the  pursuit  with  oc- 
casional skirmishing  and  capture  of  prisoners  all 
day,  till  the  enemy  were  driven  to  Hankinson's 
Ferry  over  the  Big  Black,  fifteen  miles  northeast 
of  Port  Gibson.    McPherson  at  this  point  was  so 



close  upon  the  heels  of  the  rebels  that  he  seized  chap.vii. 
the  bridge  before  they  had  time  to  fire  it  and  es- 
tablished himself  firmly  there.  Grant,  with  a 
cavalry  escort  of  twenty  men,  meanwhile  rode 
straight  for  Grand  Gulf,  which  he  found  evacuated 
and  the  navy  in  possession;  Porter  was  absent, 
having  started  that  morning  to  lend  Farragut  a 
hand  at  the  mouth  of  the  Red  Eiver.  Grant's 
blows  in  the  last  few  days  had  fallen  so  hard  and 
so  fast  that  the  enemy  had  not  had  leisure  to  save 
his  heavy  guns,  and  as  the  victorious  general  in- 
spected the  formidable  arms  and  the  system  of 
works  which,  seen  from  the  rear,  were  far  more  ex- 
tensive than  they  appeared  from  the  river,  he  had 
reason  to  congratulate  himself  on  the  wisdom  of  the 
march  to  Bruinsburg,  which  had  avoided  the  danger 
and  the  bloodshed  involved  in  a  direct  attack  upon 
the  fortifications  of  Grand  Gulf.  It  was  now  three 
days  since  he  had  been  in  bed  or  undressed,  so  he 
begged  a  change  of  linen  on  board  one  of  the  gun- 
boats, and,  thus  refreshed,  spent  the  greater  part  of 
the  night  in  writing  dispatches. 

It  is  astonishing  to  see  the  amount  of  work,  the 
thought,  care,  and  minuteness  of  detailed  instruc- 
tion, which  he  crowded  into  those  few  hours.    He 
wrote  to  General  Halleck,  giving  a  full  account  of 
his  expedition  up  to  date ;  to   Sherman,  ordering 
him  to  effect  a  junction  with  the  main  body  as  soon 
as  possible,  full  of  details  as  minute  as  the  follow- 
ing :  "  I  wish  you  to  collect  a  train  of  one  hundred 
and  twenty  wagons  at  Milliken's  Bend,  and  Perkins's    Grant  to 
Plantation.     Send  them  to  Grand  Gulf,  and  there  ^r3^. 
load  them  with  rations  as  follows:    one  hundred  voixxiv., 
thousand  pounds  of   bacon,  the  balance,   coffee,    Pprt268.L' 


chap.  vii.  sugar,  salt,  and  hard  bread,"  etc.  With  equal  detail 
he  gave  orders  for  the  construction  of  a  road  for 
land  transportation  from  Young's  Point  to  a  land- 
ing below  Warrenton.  All  his  faculties  seemed 
sharpened  by  the  emergency.  There  was  nothing 
too  large  for  him  to  grasp;  nothing  small  enough  for 
him  to  overlook.  He  had  heard  that  day  of  Grier- 
son's  raid,  and  its  thorough  success  had  contributed 
to  the  steady  elation  which  is  visible  in  all  his  utter- 
ances of  that  day.  He  says  to  General  Halleck 
his  army  is  in  the  finest  health  and  spirits, 
"  composed  of  well-disciplined  and  hardy  men  who 
know  no  defeat  and  are  not  willing  to  learn  what  it 
is."  "The  country,"  he  further  says,  "will  supply 
all  the  forage  required  for  anything  like  an  active 
campaign,  and  the  necessary  fresh  beef ;  other 
supplies  will  have  to  be  drawn  from  Milliken's 
Bend ;  this  is  a  long  and  precarious  route,  but  I 
have  every  confidence  in  succeeding  in  doing  it. 
Grant  to  I  shall  not  bring  my  troops  into  this  place,  but 
M?y^f lies,  immediately  follow  the  enemy,  and  if  all  promises 
voi.xxiv.,  as  favorably  hereafter  as  it  does  now,  not  stop 
p.  33."     until  Vicksburg  is  in  our  possession." 

In  this  last  phrase  we  find  the  only  intimation 
which  he  gave  to  the  Government,  at  that  time,  of 
the  campaign  upon  which  he  was  resolved ;  a  reso- 
lution which  was  the  turning-point  of  his  career,  for 
in  that  day's  resolve  was  the  germ  of  the  victories 
of  Vicksburg  and  Chattanooga,  of  Appomattox  and 
the  Presidency.  It  had  been  his  intention,  as  he 
said  in  his  dispatch  from  Vicksburg  three  weeks 
later,  to  "detach  an  army  corps  or  the  necessary 
to  Haifeck,  force  to  cooperate  with  General  Banks  to  secure  the 
iMd.,  p.  3s!  reduction  of  Port  Hudson  and  the  union  of  the  two 

p.  49. 

gkant's    MAY   BATTLES    IN    MISSISSIPPI  175 

armies";  but,  having  received  a  letter  from  Banks,  chap.vil 
stating  that  he  could  not  be  at  Baton  Rouge  before  Gr&nt/Rer 
the  10th  of  May,  and  that  after  the  reduction  of  y8g- 
Port  Hudson  he  could  add  only  12,000  to  the  force  Yf£$-' 
in  the  field,  Grant  instantly  concluded  that  he 
would  make  his  campaign  without  reference  to 
Banks.  He  felt,  rather  than  knew,  the  dispositions 
of  the  enemy  opposed  to  him.  By  keeping  his 
army  well  in  hand  he  could  interpose  it  between 
the  force  of  Pemberton,  now  collected  on  the  line 
of  the  Big  Black  on  his  left,  and  the  force  which 
Johnston  would  naturally  collect  about  him  at 
Jackson.  He  knew  he  was  stronger  than  either  of 
these  bodies  and,  in  striking  contrast  with  those 
generals  in  the  East  who  constantly  multiplied  in 
their  imagination  the  force  of  the  enemy,  it  was 
the  habit  of  Grant  to  make  the  opposite  error  and 
to  minimize  a  hostile  force  which  he  could  not  see. 
He  estimated  at  this  time  Pemberton's  force  at 
about  three-fifths  of  its  actual  strength.1  The  ex- 
igencies of  his  first  day's  battle,  and  the  pursuit 
of  the  retreating  enemy,  had  brought  him  fifteen 
miles  in  the  direction  of  the  Confederate  army. 
He  felt  it  would  be  wasting  too  much  time,  at  that 
stage  of  the  campaign,  to  countermarch  that  dis- 
tance to  join  General  Banks.  It  will  be  no  dispar- 
agement to  Grant  if  we  admit  the  possibility  of 
another  consideration  which  may  have  influenced 
him  at  this  moment.  Banks,  as  Badeau  says,  was  "mstSy7 
his  senior,  and  on  the  junction  of  their  forces  must  GrSit5; 
have  assumed  command,  and  it  will  not  be  accusing      p 

1  "  Pemberton  was  in  Vicks-  but  as  Grant  then  supposed,  with 

burg  and  along    the  Vieksburg  30,000."  —  Badeau,     "  Military 

and  Jackson  Eailroad  with,   as  History  of  U.  S.  Grant,"  page 

afterwards  proved,  52,000  men,  219. 


Vol.  I. 


chap.  vii.  Grant  of  any  taint  of  vanity,  presumption,  or  am- 
bition to  say  that  he  probably  felt  that  for  the 
work  in  hand  he  was  a  better  man  than  Banks. 

Having  taken  this  momentous  resolution,  upon 
the  result  of  which  depended  either  the  greatest 
military  service  ever  rendered  the  republic  and  an 
immortal  fame,  or,  in  the  other  event,  irremediable 
failure  and  disgrace;  and  then  having  sat  down 
without  a  tremor  of  the  pulse,  to  give  directions  to 
generals,  sea-captains,  quartermasters,  and  com- 
missaries, for  every  incident  of  the  opening  cam- 
paign, Grant  mounted  his  horse  again  and  rode  to 
his  troops  at  Hankinson's  Ferry,  where  he  found 
his  own  horses  and  personal  luggage  had  arrived. 
Since  leaving  Hard  Times  his  sole  worldly  gear 
had  been  a  tooth-brush.  He  had  taken  from  day 
to  day  the  first  horse  he  could  lay  his  hands  on, 
and  had  shared  the  luncheon  of  any  general  near 
whom  he  happened  to  halt.1 

His  forces  remained  for  three  days  at  Hankin- 
son's Ferry  waiting  for  supplies  and  reinforce- 
ments from  across  the  river  which  were  constantly 
arriving.  Though  the  army  was  on  short  rations 
of  bread  they  had  in  this  fertile  and  populous  dis- 
trict a  great  plenty  of  other  things,  and  after  the 
long  months  of  levee,  swamp,  and  bayou,  they 
heartily  enjoyed  those  first  days  of  high  and  dry 
land,  of  fresh  beef,  and  poultry.  The  men  were 
not  entirely  idle;   General  Grant  employed   the 

1  E.  B.  Washburne  wrote  to  an  orderly  or  servant,  a  blanket 
Lincoln  on  the  1st  of  May,  1863,  or  overcoat  or  clean  shirt,  or 
"lam  afraid  Grant  will  have  to  even  a  sword  —  that  being  car- 
be  reproved  for  want  of  style,  ried  by  his  boy  13  years  old.  His 
On  this  whole  march  for  five  days  entire  baggage  consists  of  a 
he  has  had  neither  a  horse  nor  tooth-brush."    MS. 

gkant's    MAY    BATTLES    IN    MISSISSIPPI  177 

time  in  demonstrations  on  both  sides  of  the  Big  chap.vii. 
Black,  for  the  purpose  of  inducing  the  enemy  to 
think  that  his  intentions  pointed  in  that  direction. 
But  on  the  morning  of  the  7th  the  army  in  high    May,  i863. 
health  and  spirits  broke  camp  and  started  on  their 
march  towards  the  center  of  the  enemy's  line  be- 
tween Vicksburg  and  Jackson.     "  It  was  my  in- 
tention here,"  says   General  Grant,  "to  hug  the 
Big  Black  River  as  closely  as  possible  with  McCler- 
nand's  and  Sherman's  corps,  and  get  them  to  the     Report, 
railroad  at  some  place  between  Edwards's  Station  voljcx  iv., 
and  Bolton."    He  intended  McPherson,  command-     Pp?5o*"' 
ing  the  right  wing,1  to  move  by  way  of  the  village 
of  Utica  to  Raymond  and  thence  to  make  a  rapid 
dash  upon  Jackson,  the  capital  of  the  State,  to  do 
what  damage  might  be  swiftly  wrought  upon  the 
railroad  and  public  stores,  and  then  to  rejoin  the 
main  army.    A  close  watch  was  to  be  kept  on  the 
ferries  of  the  Big  Black  to  prevent  the  sudden  de- 
scent of  a  body  of  the  enemy  upon  his  line  of  com- 
munication.   In  this  order,   therefore,  the  army 
moved  north  a  march  of  five   days,  McPherson 
holding  the  right,  McClernand  the  left,  Sherman 
following  McClernand  and  gradually  coming  to  the 
center  abreast  of  him. 

On  the  morning  of  the  12th  McPherson  struck    May,  1863. 
a  brigade  of  the  enemy  commanded  by  General 
John  Gregg,  supported  later  by  another  under  Gen- 
eral W.  H.  T.Walker  at  Raymond.  Logan's  division 

1  General    McClernand,    prop-  movement  on  Jackson,  while  he 

erly  speaking,  had  command  of  allowed  McClernand  to  think  he 

the  right  at  the  beginning,  but  held  the  post  of  greatest  honor 

General    Grant,    who    preferred  and  responsibility,  being  nearest 

General  McPherson  for  the  ser-  the  principal  force  of  the  enemy, 

vice  required,  worked  his  corps  — Badeau,  "  Military  History  of 

over  to  the  right  to  make  the  U.  S.  Grant."    Vol.  I.,  p.  231. 

Vol.  VII.— 12 

178  ABRAHAM    LI2>TC0LN 

chap.  vii.  first  attacked  and  gradually  pushed  the  enemy 
before  him  for  two  or  three  hours  until,  on  the 
arrival  of  Crocker's  division,  the  Confederates 
broke  and  retreated  towards  Jackson,  Logan  fol- 
Report,  lowing  in  pursuit  until  night.  General  Grant  dur- 
Ju1w?k.863'  ing  the  battle  was  with  Sherman,  seven  miles 
part  i.,  w!  west  of  Eaymond,  and  about  the  center  of  the  army. 
This  sharp  action,  and  additional  reports 
which  Grant  had  received  of  the  arrival  of  con- 
siderable reinforcements  under  Johnston  at  the 
State  capital,  determined  him  to  countermand 
the  orders  under  which  the  left  wing  and  center 
were  now  marching  to  the  railroad,  and  he  directed 
both  Sherman's  and  McClernand's  corps  to  concen- 
trate upon  the  right  while  McPherson  pushed  for- 
ward towards  Jackson.  Grant  was  determined,  as 
he  says,  to  make  sure  and  leave  no  enemy  in  his 
rear.  The  army  was  certainly  fortunate  in  the 
possession  of  a  general  who  could  change  his  plans 
at  a  moment's  notice  to  suit  the  exigencies  of  the 
hour  and  of  officers  and  troops  who  could  march 
as  fast  and  as  far  as  it  suited  their  general  to  com- 
mand them.  McPherson  pushed  to  the  north  from 
Eaymond,  occupying  the  town  of  Clinton  on  the 
railroad  between  Jackson  and  Vicksburg,  thus  in- 
terposing his  corps  between  Johnston  and  Pember- 
ton;  and  Sherman,  with  equal  celerity,  marched 
on  the  direct  route  between  Eaymond  and  Jackson, 
arriving  south  of  the  town  just  as  McPherson  ar- 
rived, in  a  pouring  rain,  on  the  north  side. 
1863.  On  the  9th  of  May  the  Confederate  Government, 

seriously  alarmed  at  Grant's  march  into  the  in- 
terior, had  ordered  General  Johnston  to  proceed 
at  once  to  Mississippi  with  three  thousand  good 

grant's    MAY    BATTLES    IN    MISSISSIPPI  179 

troops  and  take  command  of  the  forces  there.  The  chap.vii. 
fatal  divergence  of  views,  between  Johnston  on  the 
one  side  and  the  Confederate  Government  on  the 
other,  had  continually  widened  since  the  confer- 
ence at  Grenada  some  months  before.  Pemberton 
was  constantly  importuning  Johnston  for  rein- 
forcements which  the  latter  could  not  send  him, 
and  in  the  latter  part  of  March  he  made  an  urgent 
request  that  Yan  Dorn's  cavalry  might  be  returned 
to  him  from  the  Army  of  the  Tennessee.  Johnston 
replied  that  that  force  was  much  more  needed  in 
Tennessee  than  it  could  be  in  Mississippi,  and  that 
it  could  not  be  sent  back  so  long  as  that  state  of 
things  existed.  There  is  some  reason  in  Pember- 
ton's  claim  that  but  for  his  poverty  in  mounted 
troops  Grierson's  raid  would  have  been  impossible, 
and  Grant  never  could  have  advanced  so  easily  as 
he  did  from  the  river  into  the  heart  of  the  State. 
But  on  the  12th  of  May,  when  Pemberton  an-  i863. 
nounced  his  purpose  to  meet  the  heavy  force  of 
the  enemy  advancing  on  the  railroad,  and  asked 
for  an  immediate  reenforcement  of  three  thousand 
cavalry,  as  a  positive  necessity,  he  might  as  well 
have  asked  for  the  moon.  Yan  Dorn  had  just  been  May  s,  lsea 
killed  in  a  private  quarrel ;  it  was  not  possible  to 
gather  up  three  thousand  cavalry  from  any  quarter, 
and  Grant's  solid  legions  were  bringing  intelligence 
of  themselves  with  a  rapidity  that  no  dragoons 
could  have  surpassed. 

It  was  on  a  train  between  Tullahoma  and 
Jackson  that  General  Johnston  received,  on  the 
13th  of  May,  his  first  intimation  of  the  critical 
state  of  affairs  from  General  Pemberton;  and 
the  first  report  he  heard  on  arriving  at  the  capi- 




chap.  vii.  tal  was  General  Gregg's  narrative  to  him,  in  person, 
of  his  defeat  at  Eaymond.  On  the  receipt  of  this 
news  General  Johnston,  who  was  always  extremely 
careful  to  perfect  his  written  record  in  case  of 
controversy  arising  between  himself  and  his  Gov- 
ernment, sent  to  Eichmond  this  truthful  but  most 
Johnston  unpalatable  dispatch:  "I  arrived  this  evening, 
M°ayei3?i8G3.  finding  the  enemy's  force  between  this  place  and 
voi.xxiv.,  General  Pemberton,  cutting  off  the  communica- 
tion. I  am  too  late."  Whether  it  be  that  his 
wounds  and  long  illness  had  depressed  his  energies, 
or  whether,  in  the  circumstances  of  the  case,  it  was 
possible  for  him  and  General  Pemberton  to  with- 

Part  I., 
p.   215. 

grant's    MAY    BATTLES    IN    MISSISSIPPI 



stand  the  splendid  army  and  the  swift  movements  of  chap,  vil 
Grant,  it  is  not  to  be  denied  that  his  management 
of  the  present  campaign  is  the  least  creditable  por- 
tion of  his  career.  At  the  same  time,  having  pro- 
vided against  the  worst  contingency  by  announcing 
to  the  Confederate  Government  that  he  had  arrived 
too  late,  he  telegraphed  to  General  Pemberton  that 
he  had  learned  Sherman  was  between  them  with 
four  divisions  at  Clinton,  saying  that  it  was  impor- 
tant to  reestablish  communications,  that  Pemberton 
might  be  reenforced,  and  directing  him  to  come  up 
in  Sherman's  rear  at  once.  "To  beat  such  a  de- 
tachment," he  said,  "would  be  of  immense  value"; 



Chap.  VII. 

W.  R. 

Vol.  XXIV., 

Part  III., 

p.  870. 

— an  unnecessary  truism ; — "the  troops  here  could 
cooperate.  .  .  Time  is  all-important."  The  whole 
telegram  is  little  more  than  a  waste  of  words. 
Pemberton,  from  Bovina,  replied  on  the  next  day, 
telling  what  detachments  he  had  left  at  Big  Black 
and  Baldwin's  ferry,  two  divisions  to  hold  Vicks- 
burg,  leaving  an  available  force  of  sixteen  thousand 
ibid.,  p.  877.  with  which  he  had  moved  at  once.  He  was  not  to 
blame  in  hesitating  to  attack,  with  this  insufficient 
force, —  for  although  understated  it  was  still  insuffi- 
cient,—  the  army  of  Grant,  with  three  corps  in  sup- 
porting distance,  any  one  of  which  would  have  been 
all  that  Pemberton  could  handle.1 

On  the  morning  of  the  14th  Sherman  and  Mc- 
Pherson  moved  on  parallel  roads  towards  Jackson. 
In  spite  of  a  furious  rain-storm,  which  had  flooded 
the  roads  all  night  and  continued  until  noon,  the 
troops  of  both  corps  marched  in  excellent  order, 
without  straggling,  and  in  the  best  of  spirits. 
McPherson,  on  the  northern  road,  had  the  bulk  of 
the  battle  to  his  share.  After  a  severe  fight  of  two 
or  three  hours  the  Confederates  were  beaten  and 
fled  by  the  Canton  road  leading  due  north  from 

1  Pemberton's    force    effective     4000 ;  and  finally,  3000  would 

May,  1863. 



July  6,  1863 

W.  R. 


Part  I., 

p.  50. 

for  action  on  this  date,  according 
to  his  own  account,  was  27,000 
men,  and  is  greatly  underesti- 
mated. The  simplest  statement 
of  the  case  will  show  this.  He 
surrendered  to  Grant  in  Vicks- 
burg  some  32,000  men;  the 
prisoners  Grant  took  during  the 
campaign  in  the  field  were  7000. 
Pemberton's  losses  in  the  differ- 
ent battles  were  not  much  less 
than  10,000,  andLoring's  force, 
which  wandered  away  from  him 
at  Champion's  Hill  and  never  re- 
joined him,   was  not  less  than 

be  a  fair  estimate  of  the  strag- 
glers. "Pemberton  stated  in 
his  official  report  that  his  effec- 
tive strength  at  the  beginning  of 
the  siege  was  18,500  men;  and 
(May  14)  that  his  whole  available 
force,  at  the  time  of  the  battle  of 
Champion's  Hill,  was  16,000  in 
the  field,  while  7800  were  left 
to  hold  Vicksburg.  He  lost  at 
least  15,000  men  after  this,  and 
had  32,000  to  surrender  two 
months  later."  — Badeau,  "Mil- 
itary History  of  U.  S.  Grant." 
Vol.  I.,  p.  399.     Note. 

gkant's    MAY    BATTLES    IN    MISSISSIPPI 


the  town,  upon  which  Johnston  had  already  carried  chap,  vii 
away  his  most  valuable  supplies.  Sherman  was 
opposed,  on  the  Raymond  road,  by  several  field 
batteries,  of  which  he  captured  three  and  some 
hundreds  of  prisoners.  General  Grant  was  with 
Sherman,  and  the  two  met  McPherson  in  the 
center  of  the  town,  from  which  the  rebels  had  re- 
treated, who  laid  before  them  some  intercepted  dis- 
patches between  Pemberton  and  Johnston  which 
put  the  Confederate  plan,  if  it  could  be  called  by 
such  a  name,  in  their  hands.  Grant  instantly 
ordered  McPherson  to  march  back  on  the  Clinton 
road  and  join  McClernand,  while  Sherman  re- 
mained behind  for  a  day  to  break  up  railroads,  to 
destroy  the  arsenal,  and  various  manufacturing 
establishments,  and  then  to  follow  McPherson. 

The  conduct  of  the  Confederate  commanders  at 
this  juncture  has  been  the  source  of  endless  dis- 
cussion between  the  principal  parties  concerned. 
General  Johnston  severely  censures  the  Confederate 
Government  for  not  properly  supporting  him,  and 
Pemberton  for  not  obeying  his  orders,  while  Pem- 
berton endeavors,  in  his  reports,  to  throw  the  blame 
upon  General  Johnston ;  and  President  Davis 
voluminously  attacks  Johnston  and  attempts  the 
defense  of  his  luckless  subordinate.1    But  looking 



Vol.  I., 

p.  321. 

1  There  has  probably  never 
been  a  campaign  in  which  all  the 
prominent  parties  stood  in  such 
an  attitude  of  contumacy.  The 
Confederate  Government,  in  the 
person  of  Mr.  Davis,  accuses  Gen- 
eral Johnston  of  not  obeying  his 
instructions,  and  General  John- 
ston, in  his  turn,  impartially 
attacks  his  superiors  for  not  hav- 
ing    sustained    him,     and    his 

subordinates  for  not  having 
obeyed  him.  On  the  other  side 
General  Grant  accuses  McCler- 
nand, in  every  report,  of  insub- 
ordination as  well  as  incapacity, 
and,  to  complete  the  whimsical 
circle,  Grant  himself  was  guilty 
of  an  innocent  and  unconscious 
disobedience  of  orders,  for  while, 
on  the  11th  of  May,  a  telegram 
was  on  its  way  to  him  from  Wash- 


chap.  vii.  dispassionately  at  the  situation  of  the  two  armies 
1863.  on  the  morning  of  the  15th  of  May,  it  is  hard  to  see 
how,  with  the  utmost  harmony  and  good-will  on  the 
part  of  the  Confederates,  Grant  could  have  been 
defeated.  His  campaign  was  already  almost  a 
secured  success  ;  his  tremendous  energy  in  march- 
ing had  made  the  fighting  of  battles  a  matter  of 
secondary  importance ;  his  army,  as  round  and  solid 
as  a  cannon-ball,  had  been  interposed  between  the 
two  Confederate  wings,  each  division  within  sup- 
porting distance  of  the  rest,  and  although  the  Na- 
tional army  and  that  of  the  Confederates  were 
almost  exactly  equal  in  numbers,  the  rebels  were 
so  scattered,  in  every  direction,  that  it  was  in  the 
power  of  Grant  to  fall  with  overwhelming  force 
upon  any  detachment  he  chose  to  attack. 

At  the  same  time  it  must  be  admitted  that  both 
the  Confederate  commanders  assisted  his  wisdom 
and  energy  by  all  the  mistakes  which  it  was  possible 
for  them  to  make.  Johnston,  after  having  been 
driven  out  of  Jackson,  imagined  that  Grant  in- 
tended permanently  to  occupy  that  place,1  and 
immediately  bestirred  himself  from  his  refuge  on 
the  Canton  road  to  take  ways  and  means  to  starve 

ington  directing  him  to  join  forces  and  those  coming  from  the  east 

with  Banks  somewhere  between  from  joining  Lieutenant-General 

Vicksburg  and  Port  Hudson,  he  Pemberton's  army."    He  wrote  a 

was  sending  a  dispatch  from  the  letter  to  Pemberton  on  that  date 

Jackson  road,  saying  that  he  was  expressing    the    hope    that    the 

marching  in  the  opposite  direction  troops    of     Generals    Gist    and 

at  the  utmost  speed  of  his  troops,  Maxey  would  be  able  to  prevent 

and  that  he  should  communicate  General  Grant's  forces  in  Jackson 

with  Grand  Gulf  no  more.  from  obtaining  supplies  from  the 

l  Johnston   says:    "  From  the  east,and  that  troops  on  the  Canton 

events   of  the   14th  I  supposed  road  might  keep  those  of  the  coun- 

that  General  Grant  intended  to  try  to  the  north  from  the  Union 

occupy  Jackson  and  hold  it  to  troops. —  Johnston, "  Narrative  of 

prevent  the    troops    then    there  Military  Operations,"  p.  178. 

gbant's    MAY    BATTLES    IN    MISSISSIPPI  185 

out  Grant  by  cutting  off  his  supplies,  with  that  in-  chap.vii. 
tention  detaching  a  considerable  force  under  General 
S.  R.  Gist  to  the  east  of  the  town ;  at  the  same  time 
he  sent  orders  to  Pemberton  to  move  his  army  east 
and  attack  the  Union  rear,  without  any  adequate 
comprehension  of  the  force  or  the  position  of 
Grant's  army ;  and  he  ever  afterwards  blamed  Pem- 
berton with  great  severity  for  not  having  carried 
out  these  orders.  But  when  Pemberton,  before 
the  capture  of  Jackson,  received  on  the  morning  of 
the  14th  the  first  orders  of  this  tenor,  although  he 
disapproved  them  and  thought  the  result  would  be 
disastrous,  he  immediately  prepared  to  obey  them. 
He  ordered  his  troops  forward  from  Edwards's 
Station;  but  later  in  the  day  his  doubts  became 
intolerable  to  himself ;  he  called  together  his  prin- 
cipal generals  in  council  of  war,  and  asked  for  their 
opinions.  The  larger  number  of  them  were  in 
favor  of  strictly  obeying  Johnston's  orders  and 
marching  east  upon  the  rear  of  the  army  which 
Johnston  supposed  to  be  between  Clinton  and 
Jackson ;  the  two  senior  generals,  however,  Loring 
and  Stevenson,  favored  a  movement  against  Grant's 
line  of  communications,  hoping  in  this  way  to  cut 
off  his  supplies  and  compel  him  to  retreat.  This 
divergence  of  views  only  increased  Pemberton's 
embarrassment,  who,  for  his  part,  thought  the 
wisest  course  was  to  wait  for  the  battle,  which  he 
felt  must  soon  come,  in  a  place  chosen  by  him- 
self ;  but,  being  forced  to  a  decision,  he  made  what 
was  probably  the  worst  one  possible  under  the  cir- 
cumstances. He  resolved  to  move  to  the  southeast 
upon  Grant's  line  of  communication  and  supply, 
which  he  hoped  to  strike  at  the  village  of  Dillon,  a 


chap.  vii.  f ew  miles  to  the  east  of  Eaymond ;  and  even  this 
movement  was  not  executed  promptly.  The  severe 
rain-storm,  which  had  not  been  enough  to  keep 
McPherson  and  Sherman  out  of  Jackson,  had  so 
swollen  the  creeks  in  Pemberton's  line  of  march 
that  he  was  forced  to  make  a  detour  to  find  a  bridge 
on  the  Clinton  road.  In  this  way  the  greater  part 
1863.  of  the  15th  of  May  was  wasted,  and  night  found 
him  only  a  short  distance  on  the  Raymond  road 
near  the  village  of  Elliston. 

If  General  Grant  had  himself  directed  the  move- 
ment of  the  Confederate  forces  he  could  not  have 
disposed  them  more  to  his  own  advantage  than 
Johnston  and  Pemberton,  in  their  confusion,  had 
done.  With  a  part  of  Johnston's  forces  ordered  forty 
orfifty  miles  east  of  Jackson  for  the  purpose  of  starv- 
ing out  Grant  from  a  place  he  had  no  intention  of 
holding ;  with  another  force  to  the  north  in  search 
of  a  point  of  junction  with  Pemberton,  and  the 
latter  wheeling  the  right  wing  to  the  south  to 
strike  the  communications  of  an  army  which  was 
living  off  the  country,  and  living  well,  the  two  Con- 
federate generals  continually  increased  their  own 
embarrassment  by  their  mutual  distrust  and  vacil- 
lation. With  a  force  like  Grant's  held  compactly 
between  them  and  making  the  most  of  every  hour, 
they  were  still  further  confusing  and  weakening 
each  other  by  dispatches  which  it  required  days  to 
deliver  and  which,  when  received,  had  been  invali- 
dated by  the  swift  progress  of  events.  At  Elliston 
on  the  Raymond  road,  where  Pemberton  had  rested 
for  the  night  and  was  preparing  to  march  in  the 

May,  1863.    morning  of  the  16th,  he  received  an   order  from 
Johnston  to  join  him  at  Clinton,  a  place  which  at 


the  moment  was  equally  inaccessible  to  both  of  chap.vii. 

them.1    Although  this  order  was  a  day  old,  Pem- 

berton  had,  by  this  time,  grown  apprehensive  of 

the  consequences  of  his  disobedience,  and  resolved 

to  obey  the  command  which  had  become  obsolete, 

at  a  moment  when  its  execution  was  impossible  to 

him ;  for  even  while  he  issued  the  order  to  reverse 

his  column  towards  Edwards's  Station,  intending 

to  seek  Johnston  at  Brownsville,  the  skirmishers  of 

McClernand's  corps  were  already  engaged  with  his 

cavalry  advance. 

The  moment  Grant  learned  at  Jackson  of  the  in- 
tention of  the  enemy  to  join  their  forces  and  attack 
his  rear,  he  determined  to  be  beforehand  with  them, 
and  ordered  all  his  troops,  except  Sherman,  to  face 
to  the  west  and  rendezvous  in  the  neighborhood  of 
Bolton's  Station,  a  point  on  the  railroad  almost 
exactly  in  the  center  of  a  quadrilateral  composed 
by  Brownsville  and  Raymond  on  the  north  and 
south,  and  Clinton  and  Edwards's  Station  on  the 
east  and  west.  By  moving  promptly  to  this  point 
he  felt  sure  of  preventing  Johnston's  junction  with 
Pemberton  and  overwhelming  the  latter  before  as- 
sistance could  reach  him  from  any  quarter.  This 
movement  necessarily  placed  McClernand's  corps 
once  more  in  the  lead.  Hovey's  division,  which 
had  relieved  McPherson  at  Clinton  when  he  moved 
on  Jackson,  marched  straight  from  Clinton  to 
Bolton,  while  Osterhaus  and  Carr,  moving  on  what 

1  The    order     from     General  which  we  can  unite  is  by  your 

Johnston  was   in  these    words:  moving  directly  to  Clinton,   in- 

"May  15,  1863,  8.30  A.  M.  .  .  forming  me,  that  we  may  move 

Our  being    compelled    to    leave  to    that    point    with  about    six 

Jackson    makes    your   plan  im-  thousand." — W.  R.  Vol.   XXIV., 

practicable.     The  only  mode  by  Part  III.,  p.  882. 


chap.  vii.  is  called  the  middle  road  from  Raymond  to  Ed- 
wards's Station,  and  Smith  and  Blair  (the  latter 
having  just  arrived  from  Grand  Gulf  with  a  train 
of  two  hundred  wagons  bearing  the  only  supplies 
which  Grant  had  received  since  swinging  loose 
from  the  river)  followed  a  road  a  few  miles  south 
of  that  last  mentioned,  all  three,  however,  converg- 
ing upon  Edwards's  Station  and  within  supporting 
distance  of  each  other. 

May,  1863.  Grant  passed  the  night  of  the  15th  at  Clinton, 
and  at  daylight  he  was  aroused  from  sleep  to  listen 
to  the  report  of  two  men  employed  on  the  rail- 
road, who  had  passed  through  Pemberton's  camp 
the  day  before,  and  who  told  him  that  Pemberton, 
with  eighty  regiments,  was  moving  to  attack  his 
rear.  The  battle  which  was  to  decide  the  fate  of 
Vicksburg  was  thus  upon  him.  He  sent  a  swift 
courier  to  Sherman  to  bring  on  his  force  with  the 
utmost  speed  to  Bolton ;  McPherson  was  ordered  to 
push  through  Bolton  in  support  of  Hovey.  Orders 
had  been  sent  to  McClernand  the  night  before  to 
move  cautiously  forward  on  the  road  leading  from 
Eaymond  to  Edwards's  Station,  taking  care  to 
keep  in  communication  with  Blair,  who  was  tem- 
porarily placed  under  his  orders,  though  belonging 
to  Sherman's  division.  Grant's  aversion  to  Mc- 
Clernand were  shown  in  these  orders.  He  did  not 
feel  inclined  to  leave  to  him  that  freedom  of  action 
which  he  was  always  glad  to  give  to  Sherman  and 
McPherson,  and  his  directions  were  therefore  un- 
necessarily stringent,  commanding  him  to  proceed 
with  great  caution  and  to  take  care  not  to  bring  on 
a  general  engagement.  This  order  resulted  badly 
the  next  day. 


When  Pemberton  attempted,  on  the  morning  of   chap.vii. 
the  16th,  to  reverse  his   column,  for  the  purpose   May,  1863. 
of  joining  Johnston  north  of  the  railroad,  the  power 
of  marching  away  from  the  field  he  had  so  impru- 
dently chosen  had  passed  out  of  his  hands.    Just 
as  the  reverse  movement  was  beginning,  McCler- 
nand's  advance  drove  in  the  Confederate  cavalry 
pickets  and  opened  with  artillery,  at  long  range,  on 
the  head,  which  had  become  the  rear  of  their  column, 
on  the  Raymond  road ;  but  General  Pemberton,  not 
being  sure  whether  this  was  a  reconnaissance  or  a    Pember- 
serious  attack,  did  not  at  once  countermand  his     Report, 
orders,  but  took  measures  for  securing  the  safety  volxxiv., 

Part  I 

of  his  trains.  While  his  wagons  were  moving  to  p.  263.'' 
the  rear  he  became  convinced  that  something  more 
serious  than  a  reconnaissance  was  on  hand,  and  he 
formed  his  troops  in  line  of  battle  on  the  cross-road 
from  the  Clinton  to  the  Raymond  road.  Loring  held 
the  right,  Bowen  the  center,  and  Stevenson  the  left. 
His  right  thus  barred  the  road  along  which  McCler-  ibid. 
nand's  corps  was  advancing,  and  his  left  held  a 
strong  position,  called  Champion's  Hill,  just  south 
of  the  Vicksburg  and  Jackson  Railroad  at  a  point 
where  the  Clinton  road,  running  west,  suddenly 
turns  almost  at  a  right  angle  to  the  southward  run- 
ning along  the  base  of  the  hill  to  what  we  have 
called  the  middle  road  which  runs,  after  crossing  a 
bridge  over  Baker's  Creek,  to  Edwards's  Station. 

He  had  hardly  completed  this  formation  when 
the  battle  began.  Grant,  riding  forward  from 
Clinton  in  the   early  morning,1  had  ordered   the 

1  "At  six  and  a  half  o'clock  come  forward  to  the  front  as  soon 
McPherson  dispatched  to  Grant,  as  you  can.'  .  .  MePherson  saw 
'  I  think  it  advisable  for  you  to    that  a  battle  was  imminent,  and 


chap.  vii.  trains  moved  out  of  the  road  as  he  hurried  on, 
and  directed  McPherson  to  push  his  troops  west- 
ward at  the  top  of  their  speed.  About  ten 
o'clock  he  came  up  with  Hovey,  whose  skir- 
mishers were  already  in  contact  with  the  enemy ; 
and,  after  holding  this  division  in  check  for 
some  time  waiting  for  the  advance  of  McCler- 
nand  on  the  left,  G-eneral  Grant  was  probably  re- 
minded of  his  stringent  orders  of  the  night  before 
by  the  receipt  of  a  dispatch  from  McClernand 
about  noon,  already  two  hours  old,  asking  if  he 
should  bring  on  an  engagement.1  He  immediately 
sent  orders  for  McClernand  to  attack  at  once,  but 
they  were  not  received  until  after  two  o'clock, 
three  hours  after  the  battle  had  opened  on  the  right. 
McPherson  came  on  the  field  about  eleven  o'clock, 
Logan  in  the  lead,  and  Crocker  following  closely. 
Hovey's  division  immediately  advanced  along  the 
left  of  the  Clinton  road,  and  moved  up  the  eastern 
slope  of  Champion's  Hill  under  a  severe  fire  from 
the  enemy  posted  there.  Logan,  who  had  formed 
on  the  right  of  the  road,  attacked  the  enemy's  ex- 
treme left  and  worked  energetically  round  the  north- 
ern slope  of  the  hill  making  sure  and  rapid  progress. 

McClernand  was  the  ranking  of-  from  citizens  and  prisoners  the 

ficer   at  the    front.     McPherson  mass  of  the  enemy  are  south  of 

was  unwilling  to  risk  his  troops  Hovey's  division.     McPherson  is 

under  that  general,  unless  it  be-  now  up    with    Hovey    and    can 

came  unavoidable,  and  therefore  support  him  at  any  point.    Close 

sent  the  dispatch  given  above."  up    all    your    forces  as  expedi- 

McPherson     explained    this     to  tiously  as  possible  but  cautiously. 

Grant  after  the  battle  was  won.  The  enemy  must  not  be  allowed 

—  Badeau,    "  Military  History  of  to  get  to  our  rear." —  W.  R.  Vol. 

U.  S.  Grant."     Vol.  I.,  p.  261.  XXIV.,    Part  EH.,  p.    317.      It 

1  Even  so  late  as  fifteen  min-  was  not    until    half-past  twelve 

utes  past  ten  Grant,  in  his  writ-  that  Grant  could  bring  himself  to 

ten  orders  to  McClernand,  said :  give  McClernand  positive  orders 

"From  all  information  gathered  to  attack. —  Ibid.,  p.  318. 


Ho vey's  division  met  with  such  heavy  resistance,  chap.vii. 
Pemberton  continually  drawing  reinforcements 
from  his  right  to  sustain  his  endangered  left  wing, 
that  about  two  o'clock  Hovey's  troops  were  forced 
back  from  the  Hill.  They  had  captured  in  their 
advance  eleven  guns,  and  in  this  retreat  they  lost 
nine  of  them ;  but  being  reenforced  by  Crocker's 
division,  which  had  opportunely  arrived,  both  divi- 
sions now  rushed  forward  again  with  irresistible 
energy  and  drove  the  enemy  over  the  Hill  and 
down  to  the  Kaymond  road,  where  they  retreated 
in  a  complete  rout  towards  Baker's  Creek.  Barton's 
Confederate  brigade,  which  had  been  opposing 
Logan,  broke  about  the  same  time,  retreating 
across  Baker's  Creek  by  a  bridge  on  the  Clinton 

Loring  on  the  Confederate  left,  whom  the  cau- 
tious attack  of  McClernand  had  left  very  much 
at  leisure  during  the  battle,  was  now  called  upon 
to  cover  the  retreat  of  Bowen's  and  Stevenson's 
divisions,  which  were  completely  routed.  He 
formed  his  men  between  the  two  roads  and  was 
there  attacked  by  Osterhaus's  division  and  driven 
from  his  place  ;  falling  back  to  the  Kaymond  road 
he  found  Tilghman's  brigade  of  his  division  had 
been  attacked  and  severely  handled  by  Smith's 
division,  and  Tilghman  killed.  With  what  was 
left  of  his  force  Loring  hastened  along  the  Raymond 
road  to  the  ford  over  Baker's  Creek,  which  he  had 
been  informed  would  be  held  by  Stevenson  and 
Bo  wen  until  he  could  arrive ;  but,  in  saying  this, 
they  promised  too  much,  for,  late  in  the  afternoon, 
Greneral  Carr,  who  had  crossed  at  the  bridge,  moved 
down  the  west  bank  and  Stevenson  and  Bowen  had 


chap.  vii.  to  use  all  their  activity  to  escape  capture,  so  that, 
when  Loring  arrived  at  the  ford,  he  found  it  occu- 
pied by  a  heavy  force  of  Union  troops,  and  after 
a  comfortless  night  of  wandering  from  one  road 
and  ford  to  another  he  discovered  that  he  was  cut 
off  from  the  rest  of  the  army  and  fled  for  the  South- 
east, joining  Johnston  several  days  later. 

This,  Grant  said,  was  the  hardest  fought  battle 

vphxxiv.,  °f  the  campaign.     The  loss  of  the  Union  army  was 

Pp.  is?"     2441  men,  of  whom  2254  were  killed  and  wounded. 

ibid.,      The  Confederates  lost  3624,  of  whom  2195  were 

Part  I. 

p.  320.''  prisoners.  They  left  on  the  field  twenty-four 
May,  1863.  pieces  of  artillery.  On  the  17th  the  pursuit  was 
renewed,  McClernand's  corps  leading,  and  the  enemy 
was  overtaken  at  the  bridge  over  the  Big  Black  River. 
A  sharp  action  took  place  here.  The  enemy  were 
posted  in  the  river  bottom  on  the  east  bank  within 
a  long  line  of  rifle-piis,  which  were  defended  by  a 
bayou.  They  presented  a  somewhat  formidable 
front  as  the  Union  army  approached,  but  as  Grant's 
line  was  extended  it  was  found  that  the  rifle-pits 
could  be  flanked,  under  the  cover  of  the  river  bank, 
and  a  brilliant  assault,  by  Carr's  division,  so 
demoralized  the  enemy  that  little  resistance  was 
made,  and  a  race  for  the  bridge  ensued,  by  which 
the  fleet  Confederates  saved  themselves,  with 
heavy  loss,  however,  in  prisoners  and  guns. 

In  the  mean  time  Sherman  had  reached  Bridge- 
port, several  miles  higher  up  the  river,  which  he 
crossed  in  the  night  by  means  of  a  pontoon  bridge. 
Grant  was  with  him,  and  the  two  generals  sat  on  a 
"MemS"  log  looking  at  the  passage  of  the  troops  over  the 
p?324.'  bridge,  which  was  illuminated  by  brilliant  fires  of 
pitch-pine.    McClernand   and  McPherson  passed 

gkant's    MAY   BATTLES    IN    MISSISSIPPI  193 

the  night  in  building  floating  bridges,  and  crossed  chap.vii. 
their  commands  early  in  the  morning  of  the  18th.  May,  i863. 
This  unavoidable  delay  enabled  Pemberton  to 
bring  his  beaten  army  back  to  Vicksburg,  a  hot 
journey  of  twelve  miles  over  dusty  roads,  with  all 
the  fatigue  and  discouragement  which  a  week  of 
defeat  inflicts  upon  the  bravest  soldiers ;  but,  once 
inside  the  works  of  Vicksburg,  their  fortitude  re- 
turned, and  when  the  Union  army,  flushed  with  its 
victories,  came  surging  up  against  the  rebel  works 
it  found  them  firmly  held  and  stoutly  defended. 

In  the  mean  while  General  Johnston,  with  a  faith 
which  would  seem  to  have  had  insufficient  nourish- 
ment under  the  circumstances,  had  been  expecting  ^SraSve 
to  meet  Pemberton's  army  somewhere  on  the  road  ofoUerta-ry 
from  Livingston  to  Edwards's  Station.   It  must  be      p.  i85. 
admitted  however  that,  if  he  were  marching  in 
view  of  such  a  junction,  he  moved  with  singular 
deliberation,  for,  during  the  whole  day  of  the  16th,    May,  i863. 
while  Pemberton  was  fighting  the  most  furious 
battle  of  the  campaign  at  Champion's  Hill,  John-    Report' 
ston,   on  the  report  of  his  brigadiers  that  their  volxxiv., 

"Part  t 

troops  were  tired,  rested  the  whole  day.  But  the  P.  210." 
next  day,  having  resumed  his  leisurely  march 
along  the  road  indicated  to  him  in  a  dispatch 
which  Pemberton  wrote  him  just  before  he  was 
attacked,  he  was  met  by  a  courier  dispatched  by 
Pemberton  on  his  retreat,  with  a  full  account  of 
the  disaster  of  Champion's  Hill  and  a  clear  inti- 
mation of  the  defeat  at  the  Big  Black,  "where," 
Pemberton  said,  "  heavy  cannonading  is  now  going 
on.  There  are  so  many  points,"  he  continued,  "  by 
which  I  can  be  flanked,  that  I  fear  I  shall  be  com- 
pelled to  withdraw ;  if  so,  the  position  at  Snyder's 
Vol.  VJI.—13 


chap.  vii.  Mill  [Haines's  Bluff]  will  also  be  untenable."  Al 
though  this  was  appalling  news  to  Johnston  he  did 
not  lose  his  clearness  of  judgment,  and  immedi- 
ately dispatched  to  Pemberton  the  only  orders 
compatible  with  common-sense  in  the  disastrous 
condition  of  affairs.  "If  Haines's  Bluff  is  unten- 
able, Vicksburg  is  of  no  value  and  cannot  be  held ; 
if,  therefore,  you  are  invested  in  Vicksburg,  you 
must  ultimately  surrender.  Under  such  circum- 
stances, instead  of  losing  both  troops  and  place, 

peKX>u°  we  must,  if  possible,  save  the  troops.    If  it  is  not 

volxxiv?;  too  late,  evacuate  Vicksburg  and  its  dependencies, 
v.  sss. "  and  march  to  the  northeast."  Of  course  it  will  be 
asked  why  Johnston  did  not  instantly  get  into  the 
saddle  and,  riding  to  Pemberton's  camp,  execute 
his  own  orders;  the  reason  he  gives  is,  that  his 
health  was  too  infirm  for  him  to  attempt  such  a 

May  i8,i863.  On  the  next  day  he  received  another  dispatch 
from  Pemberton  announcing  that  he  had  sub- 
mitted to  a  council  of  war  the  orders  for  the 
evacuation  of  Vicksburg,  and  it  was  their  unani- 
mous decision  not  to  obey  them ;  and  this  decision 
was  accompanied  by  a  reason  more  humiliating 
still,  upon  which  it  was  founded,  "  that  it  was  im- 
possible to  withdraw  the  army  from  this  position 
with  such  morale  and  material  as  to  be  of  further 
service  to  the  Confederacy."  "I  have  decided," 
Pemberton  continued,  "  to  hold  Vicksburg  as  long 
as  possible,  with  the  firm  hope  that  the  Govern- 
ment may  yet  be  able  to  assist  me  in  keeping  this 
obstruction  to  the  enemy's  free  navigation  of  the 

voi.xxiv.,  Mississippi  River.    I  still  conceive  it  to  be  the  most 
p.  890."    important  point  in  the  Confederacy."    Although 


G-eneral  Johnston  considered  this  reasoning  nn-   chap.vii. 
founded  in  view  of  the  investment  of  the  city  and 
the  practical  nullification  of  the  obstruction  re- 
ferred to  by  the  passage  of  the  gunboats,  the  situa- 
tion was  too  distressing  to  him  for  further  recrim-  John8tonto 
inations,  and  he  simply  replied,  "  I  am  trying  to  MayiSl' 
gather  a  force  which  may  attempt  to  relieve  you.  volxxiv., 
Hold  out."    It  may  be  said  that  the  trap  was  al-      p*  892. " 
ready  sprung  before  Pemberton  communicated  to 
Johnston  the  decision  of  his  council  of  war,  which 
had  broken  up  to  the  booming  of  Grant's  cannons 
only  a  few  hundred  yards  away. 

The  army  had  moved  forward  during  the  18th  May,i863. 
with  the  same  celerity  and  the  same  solidity  of 
column  with  which  they  had  marched  through  the 
State.  As  they  arrived  in  the  neighborhood  of  the 
Confederate  works  McClernand's  force  was  sent 
to  the  left  and  McPherson's  to  the  center;  while 
Sherman  took  his  corps,  which  had  marched  by 
the  upper  road,  and  moved  to  the  right  until  he 
rested  upon  the  bluffs  of  the  Mississippi,  in  full 
communication  with  the  North.  Haines's  Bluff  fell 
without  a  blow,  a  few  cavalrymen  riding  into  the 
works  which  had  so  long  baffled  the  great  army; 
and  Grant  and  Sherman,  who  had  come  together 
during  the  last  stage  of  the  march,  rode,  side  by 
side,  up  to  the  farthest  heights  of  the  Walnut  Hills, 
commanding  a  view  of  the  Yazoo  Eiver  and  the 
beetling  bluffs  where  Sherman,  six  months  before, 
had  made  so  brave  an  attack  and  met  with  so  dis- 
astrous a  repulse,  and  the  two  friends  realized  at 
last  that  the  triumphant  campaign  was  ending  and 
that  a  victory,  more  complete  and  splendid  than 
Sherman  had  deemed  possible,  or  than  even  Grant 



Chap.  VII. 

"  Military 
of  U.  S. 
Vol.  I., 
p.  281. 

had  anticipated,  had  crowned  with  immortal  honor 
the  Army  of  the  Tennessee.  Sherman,  turning  to 
Grant,  said :  "  This  is  a  success,  if  we  never  take 
the  town."1 

Ulr.  Jefferson  Davis,  writing 
eighteen  years  after  the  fact, 
could  still  not  reconcile  himself  to 
the  success  of  this  campaign.  He 
enumerates  the  wise  and  prudent 
measures  he  took  to  oppose 
Grant.  He  says  he  wrote  "to 
the  Governor,  Pettus,  —  a  man 
worthy  of  all  confidence,  as  well 
for  his  patriotism  as  his  man- 
hood,—  requesting  him  to  use  all 
practicable  means  to  get  every 
man  and  boy,  capable  of  aiding 
their  country  in  its  need,  to  turn 
out,  mounted  or  on  foot,  with 
whatever  weapons  they  had,  to 

aid  the  soldiers  in  driving  the  in- 
vader from  our  soil.  The  facili- 
ties the  enemy  possessed  in  river 
transportation,  and  the  aid  which 
their  iron-clad  gunboats  gave  to 
all  operations  where  land  and 
naval  forces  could  be  combined, 
were  lost  to  Grant  in  this  interior 
march  which  he  was  making. 
Success  gives  credit  to  military 
enterprises ;  had  this  failed,  as  I 
think  it  should,  it  surely  would 
have  been  pronounced  an  egre- 
gious blunder."  —  Davis,  "  Rise 
and  Fall  of  the  Confederate  Gov- 
ernment."   Vol.  n.,  p.  400. 



AS  soon   as  Hooker  found  himself  once  more    ch.  viii. 
J~\    on  the  north  bank  of  the  Rappahannock,  he       i863. 
began  to  think  of  crossing  again ;  as  he  gradually 
recovered  the  use  of  his  benumbed  faculties  he  saw 
that   in  spite    of   the  three  days'  slaughter  into 
which  he  had  led  and  from  which  he  had  brought 
back  his  army,  he  had  as  yet  fought  no  battle.    On 
the  6th  of  May  he  telegraphed  to  the  President  that 
he  had  seen  no  way  of  giving  the  enemy  general 
battle  with  a  desirable  prospect  of  success ;  that  he     Lincoln, 
had  only  engaged  a  comparatively  small  proportion    * :  30  p.  m. 
of  his  troops,  and  that  he  saw  a  better  place  near  v^rf  §7" 
at  hand  for  the  whole  to  join.     The  President,      p>  *35, 
appreciating  more  clearly  than  General  Hooker  the 
deplorable  effect  of  Chancellorsville  upon  the  public 
mind,  wrote  to  him  on  the  7th  the  following  letter : 
"The  recent   movement  of  your  army  is  ended 
without  effecting  its  object,  except,  perhaps,  some 
important  breakings  of  the  enemy's  communica- 
tions.   What  next  ?    If  possible,  I  would  be  very 
glad  of  another  movement  early  enough  to  give  us 
some  benefit  from  the  fact  of  the  enemy's  communi- 
cation being  broken ;  but  neither  for  this  reason 
nor  any  other  do  I  wish  anything  done  in  despera- 



ch.  viii.  tion  or  rashness.  An  early  movement  would  also 
help  to  supersede  the  bad  moral  effect  of  the  recent 
one,  which  is  said  to  be  considerably  injurious. 
Have  you  already  in  your  mind  a  plan  wholly  or 
partially  formed  1  If  you  have,  prosecute  it  without 
interference  from  me.  If  you  have  not,  please 
toLlHooklr.  inform  me,  so  that  I,  incompetent  as  I  may  be,  can 
voiWxxv.,  try  and  assist  in  the  formation  of  some  plan  for  the 

Part  II.,  ,, 

p.  438.      army." 

The  general  answered  on  the  same  day,  saying 
that  he  did  not  deem  it  expedient  to  suspend 
operations  on  that  line ;  that  the  want  of  success 
in  the  first  attempt  to  extricate  the  army  from  its 
present  position  was  through  causes  which  could 
not  be  foreseen;  as  to  the  time  for  renewing  his 
advance  he  could  only  decide  after  he  had  learned 
more  of  the  feeling  of  the  troops ;  he  said  he  had 
decided  in  his  own  mind  the  plan  to  be  adopted  in 
his  next  effort  if  the  President  wished  to  have  one 
HLiSnto  made.  He  gave  no  intimation  of  what  his  plan 
vol.  xxv.,  was,  except   that  it  would  be  one  in  which  the 

Part  II. 

p.  438."    operations  of  all  the  corps;  unless  it  should  be  a 

part  of  the  cavalry,  would  be  within  his  personal 

supervision.   In  his  evidence  before  the  Committee 

Eeport     on  ^ne  Conduct  of  the  War  he  intimated  that  the 

onTouduct  plan  ne  nad  at  that  time  in  his  mind  for  an  engage- 

war*i865.    ment  was   "at  Franklin's  Crossing,  where  I  had 

P.°  134.'     elbow-room." 

May,  1863.  On  the  13th  he  wrote  to  the  President,  explaining 
his  reasons  for  delay.  His  army  had  been  consider- 
ably reduced  by  the  withdrawal  of  the  two  years 
and  nine  months  regiments,1  by  which  his  march- 

1  He  reports  his  losses  from  these  sources  as  follows  :  Two  years  men, 
16,480;  nine  months  men,  642 l.—W.R.  Vol.XXV.,Part*H.,p.243. 


ing  force  of  infantry  was  cut  down  to  about  eighty    ch.  viii. 
thousand.    He  says  that  he  is  impatient  to  move, 
but  his  impatience  must  not  be  indulged  at  the 
expense  of  the  country's  interests.    Longstreet  is 
in  Richmond,  and  can  readily  join  Lee  if  attacked. 
The  enemy's  camps  appear  to  be  increasing  in 
numbers.    He  now  believes  the  enemy  is  numeri- 
cally superior   to  him ;  he  would  like  to  have  a 
reserve  of  25,000  infantry  placed  at  his  disposal, 
if  possible,  and  ends  with  an  expression  not  quite   Hooker  to 
in  keeping  with  the  rest  of  his  letter,  that  he  MamiSls. 
"  hopes   to  be   able  to  commence  his  movement  vol.  xxv., 

1  Part  II., 

to-morrow."  This  hope  was  not  fulfilled;  it  is  p-473- 
doubtful  if  much  importance  was  attached  to  it  on 
the  other  side  of  the  correspondence,  for  the  Presi- 
dent answered  him  the  next  day,  telling  him  clearly 
that  he  did  not  then  think  it  probable  that  anything 
could  be  gained  by  an  early  renewal  of  the  attempt 
to  cross  the  Rappahannock;  the  enemy  having 
reestablished  his  communications,  regained  his  po- 
sition, and  received  reinforcements.  "  I  therefore 
shall  not  complain,"  said  Mr.  Lincoln,  "  if  you  do 
no  more  for  a  time  than  to  keep  the  enemy  at  bay 
and  out  of  other  mischief,  by  menaces  and  occa- 
sional cavalry  raids,  if  practicable,  and  to  put  your 
own  army  into  good  condition  again.  Still,  if  in 
your  own  clear  judgment  you  can  renew  the  attack 
successfully,  I  do  not  mean  to  restrain  you."  At 
the  close  of  the  President's  letter  occurs  a  passage 
which  bears  an  unhappy  resemblance  to  the  com- 
munications made  to  Burnside  near  the  close  of  his 
brief  command  :  "  I  must  tell  you,"  he  says,  "  that  I 
have  some  painful  intimations  that  some  of  your 
corps  and  division  commanders  are  not  giving  you 


ch.  viii.    their  entire  confidence.     This  would  be  ruinous  if 
Lincoln  to   true,  and  you  should,  therefore,  first  of  all  ascer- 

Hooker,  7  «/  7  7 

Maw  r1863'  ^am  ^ne  rea*  ^ac^S7  beyond  all  possibility  of  doubt." 
Vpar? nl"  There  was  to  General  Hooker,  in  these  words,  an 
p.  479.      ominous  reminiscence  of  the  fate  of  his  predecessor 
and  of  his  own  conduct  towards  him,  and  he  imme- 
diately called  upon  the  President  to  ascertain  what 
special  significance  they  contained.    The  President 
promptly  told  him  that  he  had  derived  his  informa- 
tion from  two  prominent  citizens  of  Pennsylvania, 
Report     Governor  Curtin   and  Mr.   Barclay,  from  which 
™  conduct  General  Hooker  at  once  inferred  that  the  center  of 
waVisk    disaffection  towards  him  was  with  General  Meade 
P?i5i7     and  General  Stoneman. 

The  great  and  easily  earned  victories  which  had 
fallen  to  the  lot  of  General  Lee  on  the  banks  of  the 
Rappahannock  had  raised  to  the  highest  point  they 
ever  reached  the  spirits  and  the  confidence  of 
the  Confederate  Government.  The  defeat  of  Gen- 
eral Burnside  in  December,  followed  by  the  unfor- 
tunate campaign  of  Hooker  in  May,  had  excited  in 
the  Southern  army  and  in  the  Eichmond  Cabinet  a 
feeling  of  invincibility.  A  corresponding  depression 
and  grief  had  invaded  the  North,  which  gave  occa- 
sion to  the  manifestation  of  a  sinister  opposition  to 
the  Government,  from  which  the  most  serious  results 
were  hoped  on  the  one  side  and  feared  on  the  other. 
The  Richmond  papers  copied  with  the  greatest  ela- 
tion the  factious  utterances  of  prominent  Democrats 
of  the  North  and  attributed  to  them  an  undue  influ- 
j.e.  cooke,  ence.  A  pamphlet  attacking  the  Administration  is 
General  referred  to  by  one  Southern  historian  as  the  echo 
ppL269,  270.  of  the  "  thunder  of  Lee's  guns  of  Chancellorsville." 
From  the  rebel  emissaries  in  Europe,  also,  there 


came  letters  full  of  hope  and  encouragement,  say-    ch.  viii. 
ing  that  one  or  two  more   such  victories  would 
secure  the  recognition  of  the  Confederacy  by  all 
the  great  powers.      With  more  vigor  and  una- 
nimity than  inspired  the  cry  of  "  on  to  Bichmond,"    Speecll  of 
two  years  before,  was  General  Lee  now  beset  on   Mr-Pav18 
every  hand  with  the  cry  "  on  to  Washington."    We   ^SK?11* 
are  given  to  understand  from  many  sources  that      Lee's 
this  plan  of  invasion  was  not  originally  his  own,  j.k cooke. 
and  Jefferson  Davis  himself  claims  the  responsibil-     Gl™T,?1 
ity  for  it ;  but  General  Lee  accepted  it  not  unwill-      p*  54°- 
ingly.    He  would  have  been  more  than  human  if 
he  had  not  been  greatly  elated  by  his  victories  at 
Fredericksburg  and  Chancellorsville;  and  the  army 
which  he  saw  under  his  orders  at  the  end  of  May 
was  by  far  the  finest  that  ever  gathered  under  the 
Confederate  banner.    It  was  about  equal  in  num- 
bers to  the  great  army  with  which  he  raised  the 
siege  of  Eichmond  against  McClellan,  and  far  su- 
perior to  it  by  virtue  of  a  year  of  constant  success 
and  rigid  discipline.    Longstreet  had  brought  back 
his  army  from  Suffolk,  and  the  enthusiasm  born  of 
recent  successes  had  filled  the  depleted  regiments 
with  the  flower  of  the   Southern  youth.    It  was 
divided  into  three  corps  of  three  divisions  each, 
under  Lieutenant-Generals  Longstreet,  Ewell,  and 
A.  P.  Hill,  and  numbered  nearly  80,000  men. 

General  Lee  in  his  report  of  the  31st  of  July, 
1863,  gives  a  clear  and  simple  statement  of 
the  motives  which  induced  him  to  begin  his 
enterprise  of  invasion.  "  The  position,"  he  says, 
"occupied  by  the  enemy  opposite  Fredericks- 
burg being  one  in  which  he  could  not  be  at- 
tacked to  advantage,  it  was  determined  to  draw 



Ch.  VIII. 

Lee  to 


July  31, 1863. 

W.  R. 



Part  II., 

p.  305. 

him  from  it.  The  execution  of  this  purpose  em- 
braced the  relief  of  the  Shenandoah  Valley,  .  .  . 
and  if  practicable  the  transfer  of  the  scene  of  hos- 
tilities north  of  the  Potomac."  He  thought  that  the 
execution  of  this  purpose  would  give  him  a  fair  op- 
portunity to  strike  a  blow  at  General  Hooker's  army 
in  the  course  of  the  movement  into  which  that  army 
would  be  drawn ;  that  in  any  event  it  would  be 
compelled  to  leave  Virginia  and  draw  other  troops  to 
its  support  from  a  distance  ;  finally  "  it  was  hoped 
that  other  valuable  results  might  be  obtained  by 
military  success."  In  this  last  brief  phrase  are 
buried  the  most  audacious  and  ambitious  hopes 
ever  entertained  by  the  Confederate  Government. 
They  expected  no  less  than  to  conquer  a  trium- 
phant peace  in  this  campaign  of  General  Lee.  They 
looked  upon  their  army  as  a  machine  so  perfect  in 
composition  and  in  discipline  that  it  could  go  any- 
where and  do  anything.  If  the  Army  of  the  Poto- 
mac stood  in  its  way,  they  expected  to  beat  it  as 
they  had  done  before.  It  was  to  their  minds  within 
the  range  of  reasonable  probability  that  they  should 
take  Harrisburg  and  Philadelphia;  Baltimore  would 
be  theirs  without  resistance,  for  it  always  pleased 
them  to  regard  Maryland  and  its  chief  city  as  lying 
in  unwilling  bondage  at  the  feet  of  Lincoln.  The 
capture  of  Washington  was  an  incident  of  this 
campaign  of  great  expectations.  It  is  reported 
that  when  it  was  suggested  to  General  Lee  that 
Hooker  might  take  advantage  of  his  absence  to 
advance  upon  Bichmond,he  smiled  and  said,  "Very 
well,  in  that  case  we  shall  swap  queens."  The 
question  of  supplies  gave  him  no  trouble.  The 
greater  distance  he  marched  from  the  plundered 


and  wasted  fields  of  Virginia  the  better.     The  rich    ch.  viii. 
lands  of  the  Lower  Shenandoah,  of  Maryland,  and 
Pennsylvania,   were    among  the    greatest  of  the 
temptations  of  this  bold  enterprise.     There  is  a 
story,  not  very  well  authenticated,  that,  when  Gen- 
eral Lee  made  a  requisition  for  a  large  amount  of 
rations  upon  the  Richmond  Government,  the  Con- 
federate  Commissary-General  indorsed  upon  the  J,.?Ijife  ofe' 
paper,  "  If  General  Lee  wishes  rations  let  him  seek  l<S^p!  272. 
them  in  Pennsylvania." 

Before  the  end  of  May  Hooker  began  to  suspect       i863. 
that  the  army  across  the  river  was  on  the  eve  of  a 
forward  movement.   Spies  from  Richmond  reported 
that  the  principal  topics  of  conversation  in  that  city 
were  the  funeral  of  Stonewall  Jackson  and  the  in- 
vasion of  Maryland.   Hooker,  with  that  keenness  of 
insight  which  generally  characterized  him,    tele- 
graphed to  the  Secretary  of  War,  on  the  28th  of    Hooker  t0 
May,  that,  while  he  was  in  doubt  as  to  the  direction  MayTsasfe. 
Lee  would  take,  he  thought  it  would  be  "  the  one  voi^xxv., 

Part  II 

of  last  year,  however  desperate  it  may  appear."      p.  543."' 
To  ascertain  more  definitely  if  there  were  any 
actual  movement  in  progress,  he  bridged  the  river  ju2e6?i863. 
in  his  front,  and  threw  the  Sixth  Corps  over  at    xxvii.? ' 
Franklin's  Crossing  on  the  6th  of  June.     He  saw       p.  12. "' 
from  Falmouth  Heights  that  the  movement  cre- 
ated a  good  deal  of  excitement  in  the  camps  op- 
posite, and    that   the    enemy  gathered   from  all 
quarters  in  great  force  in  front  of  Sedgwick ;  he 
therefore  concluded  that  no  movement  was  under 
way  at  that  moment. 

As  so  often  happened  with  General  Hooker,  his 
intuition  was  nearer  correct  than  his  inferences 
derived  from  actual  contact  with  the  enemy.    Be- 


ch.  viii.    cause  Hill's  force  had  gathered  with  great  alacrity 

to  dispute  Sedgwick's  advance,  he  concluded  that 

the  enemy  was  not  yet  in  motion.    On  the  day 

before  he  had  sent  a  long  dispatch  to  the  President, 

announcing  with  great  clearness  and  accuracy  his 

views  of  Lee's  movement,  which  turned  out  in 

the  end  to  be  absolutely  correct.    He  thought  Lee 

had  it  in  mind  to  cross  the  Upper  Potomac  and 

move  upon  Washington ;    that  the  head  of  his 

column  would  be  directed  towards  the  Potomac  by 

way  of  Grordonsville  or  Culpeper,  while  the  rear 

would  rest  on  Fredericksburg ;  he  therefore  desired 

the  views  of  the  Government  concerning  the  Army 

^SncoLj0   of  the  Potomac  in  such  a  contingency;  he  gave  it 

Juw5r.863,  decidedly  as  his  opinion  that  it  was  his  duty  to 

xxvii.,     attack  Lee's  rear  as  soon  as  the  movement  was 

p^3o."     fully  developed. 

Mr.  Lincoln  replied  to  this  dispatch  with  only  an 
hour's  delay,  saying  that  so  much  of  professional 
military  skill  was  requisite  to  answer  it  that  he  had 
turned  the  task  over  to  General  Halleck ;  but  the 
President  himself  decidedly  disapproved  of  Hooker's 
suggestion  to  attack  the  enemy  in  Fredericksburg. 
The  recollection  of  Burnside's  disaster  was  too  fresh 
in  the  minds  of  both  the  President  and  General  Hal- 
leck to  allow  them  to  look  with  favor  upon  the  pro- 
ject of  attacking  an  army  in  position  on  a  scene 
which  had  been  already  so  fatal  to  our  troops.  The 
enemy  would  fight,  said  the  President,  "  in  in- 
trenchments,  and  have  you  at  disadvantage,  and  so, 
man  for  man,  worst  you  at  that  point,  while  his  main 
force  would  in  some  way  be  getting  an  advantage  of 
you  northward.  In  one  word,  I  would  not  take  any 
risk  of  being  entangled  upon  the  river  like  an  ox 


jumped  half  over  a  fence  and  liable  to  be  torn  by    ch.  viii. 
dogs  front  and  rear  without  a  fair  chance  to  gore  t*jg$j*I 
one  way  or  kick  the  other."     With  this  graphic  Junes^ses. 
metaphor  the  President  turned  the  military  question    Xxvii., 
involved  over  to  the  two  generals.   Halleck  repeated     Pp?  31*" 
the  same  idea  in  less  vivid  language ;  he  thought 
it  would  be  much  better  to  attack  the  flank  of 
Lee's  movable  column,   rather  than  to   cross  the     Haueck 
Rappahannock  and  fight  the  intrenched  rear-guard  t0  nSS* er' 
at  Fredericksburg. 

While  this  correspondence  was  going  on,  the 
movement  which  Hooker  suspected  was  in  full 
progress.  It  had  begun  on  the  3d  of  June;  Mc-  i863. 
Laws's  division  of  Longstreet's  corps  was  the  first 
body  of  troops  to  move  from  Fredericksburg  to 
Culpeper  Court  House,  and  Hood's  troops,  from  the 
Rapidan,  had  marched  to  the  same  place ;  on  the 
4th  and  5th  EwelPs  corps  left  Fredericksburg;  so 
that  when  Sedgwick  crossed  below  the  city  the 
only  force  that  confronted  him  was  that  of  A.  P. 
Hill.  Although  Hooker  was  not  aware  of  the  heavy 
force  of  Confederate  infantry  that  had  already  ar- 
rived at  Culpeper  Court  House  he  knew  there  was  a 
great  concentration  of  cavalry  near  that  place,  and 
resolved  to  attack  it.  He  sent  a  large  force  in  that 
direction  under  Pleasonton  and  David  McM.  Gregg. 
The  whole  command  was  to  rendezvous  at  Brandy 
Station  and  attack  the  enemy  together;  unfortu- 
nately, as  it  resulted,  they  found  the  enemy  at  that 
point  instead  of  at  Culpeper,  and  not  coming  to- 
gether at  the  same  instant,  they  suffered  the  disad- 
vantage almost  inseparable  from  such  a  concentric 
movement,  and  were  forced  to  fight  in  detail  an 
enemy  in  position,  in  superior  numbers.    It  was  one 


ch.  viii.  of  the  most  important  cavalry  fights  in  the  war ;  in 
fact,  it  is  rare  anywhere  that  a  duel  of  10,000  horse- 
men on  a  side  is  ever  seen.  Both  armies  fought  with 
equal  courage  and  nearly  equal  damage,  and  both 
sides,  as  a  matter  of  course,  congratulated  them- 
selves od  a  signal  victory.  The  results  which 
General  Pleasonton  claims  to  have  accomplished 
were  :  the  breaking  up  of  the  enemy's  plans,  gain- 
ing valuable  information,  and  so  crippling  the 
Confederate  cavalry  that  they  were  unable  to  fol- 
low out  their  purpose  to  so  protect  the  right  wing 
of  Lee's  army  as  to  screen  his  march  along  the 
eastern  base  of  the  Blue  Eidge;  thus  compelling 
him  to  take  the  less  desirable  route  by  the  Shenan- 
Report     doah  Valley.     Pleasonton    even   thought  on  the 

£n°  cSfduot  night  of  the  battle  that  he  had  broken  up  the  en- 

war^Jsk    tire  expedition,  an  illusion  which  Hooker  did  not 
Vol.  i.,        , 
p.  157.      snare. 

General  Hooker,  having  been  convinced  by  the 
affair  of  Brandy  Station  that  the  bulk  of  the 
enemy's  cavalry  and  a  strong  body  of  infantry 
were  at  Culpeper,  and  that  the  tendency  of  the  rest 
of  his  infantry  was  to  drift  in  that  direction,  con- 
ceived a  bold  and  startling  plan  which  he  at  once 
communicated  to  the  President.  It  was  nothing 
less  than  to  march  directly  upon  Richmond,  brush- 
ing away  the  force  left  at  Fredericksburg  and  leav- 
ing Lee's  army  on  his  right  flank.  He  did  not  go 
so  far  as  McClellan  had  done  in  adopting  Lee's 
idea  of  "  swapping  queens " ;  on  the  contrary,  he 
thought  that  after  taking  Richmond,  which  he 
imagined  would  be  a  mere  matter  of  capturing  the 
provost  guard,  he  could  send  from  there  all  the  dis- 
posable part  of  his  army  to  any  threatened  point 



CH    VIII, 

POSITIONS  JUNE  12,  1863. 

Hooter  to 

north  of  the  Potomac ;  he  thought  there  would  be 

no  difficulty  in  holding  in  check  any  force  which  i863Unew°k 

might  be   thrown  against  Washington  until  his     xxvil, 


Part  I., 
pp.  34,  35. 

There  is  something  in  this  proposition  which 
stirs  the  blood  of  any  soldier  who  reflects  upon 
the  exciting  possibilities  which  it  contains.  If  it 
had  been  attempted,  and  had  succeeded,  a  world 
of  blood  and  treasure  would  have  been  saved, 
Hooker  would  have  gained  one  of  the  greatest 


ch.  vm.  names  of  modern  times,  and  Lee's  career  would 
have  ended  in  disaster,  not  unmingled  with  ridicule. 
But  the  suggestion  was  too  extravagant  and  haz- 
ardous to  commend  itself  to  the  calm  judgment  of 
the  President.  He  answered  without  a  moment's 
delay,  "If  left  to  me,  I  would  not  go  south  of 
Rappahannock  upon  Lee's  moving  north  of  it.  If 
you  had  Richmond  invested  to-day,  you  would  not 
be  able  to  take  it  in  twenty  days.  .  .  I  think  Lee's 
army,  and  not  Richmond,  is  your  sure  objective 
point.    If  he  comes  towards  the  Upper  Potomac, 

Lincoln     f  ollow  on  his  flank  and  on  his  inside  track,  shorten- 
to  Hooker,  ' 

i863Unw°k  m&  y°ur  nnes  while  he  lengthens  his;  fight  him,  too, 
xxvii.,  when  opportunity  offers.  If  he  stays  where  he  is, 
*j?%5.''  fret  him  and  fret  him."  He  wrote  this  dispatch  be- 
fore consulting  Halleck,  but  the  general-in-chief 
gave  it  his  full  approval;  and  there  seems  to  be 
no  question  that  the  President's  decision  was  the 
wisest  which  could  have  been  taken. 

Lee  sent  his  advance  into  the  Valley  of  the 
Shenandoah,  and  General  Ewell  invested  the  gar- 
june,  1863.  rison  of  Winchester  on  the  13th.  This  post  was 
held  by  General  Milroy,  a  man  of  stubborn  courage, 
who,  when  ordered  to  evacuate  the  place,  instead 
of  obeying,1  protested  that  he  was  able  to  hold  it 

l "  Winchester  and  Martinsburg  1863.   W.  R.  Vol.  XXVII.,  Part 

were   at  this  time   occupied  by  L,  p.  15. 

us  simply  as  outposts.  Neither  General  Halleck  always  divided 
place  was  susceptible  of  a  good  the  blame  of  the  mischance  at 
defense.  Directions  were  there-  Winchester  equally  between  Mil- 
fore  given  on  June  11th  to  with-  roy  and  Schenck.  In  fact,  each 
draw  these  garrisons  to  Har-  of  the  three  is  equally  impartial 
per's  Ferry,  but  these  orders  were  towards  the  other  two. 
not  obeyed,  and  on  the  13th  We  give  the  following  letter 
Winchester  was  attacked  and  its  from  the  President  to  Milroy  as 
armament  and  part  of  its  gar-  a  remarkable  specimen  of  his 
rison  captured." —  General  Hal-  dealings  with  his  discontented 
leek's  Report  of  Operations   in  generals.    It  would  be  impossible 




against  any  force  the  enemy  might  bring.    His    ch.  vni. 
orders  were  not  repeated  with  sufficient  prompt- 
ness and  firmness,  and  he  was  therefore  caught  by 
Ewell's   army,   and,   though  fighting  obstinately, 

to  be  more  kindly  or  more  au- 
thoritative. Yet  he  took  time  to 
write  this  letter  in  the  most  criti- 
cal hour  of  the  Gettysburg  cam- 
' '(Private.)  Executive  Mansion, 

"Washington,  June  29,1863. 
"Major-General  Milroy. 

"My  dear  Sir:  Your  letters 
to  Mr.  Blair  and  to  myself  are 
handed  to  me  by  him.  I  have  never 
doubted  your  courage  and  de- 
votion to  the  cause.  But  you  have 
just  lost  a  division,  and,  prima 
facie,  the  fault  is  upon  you  ;  and 
while  that  remains  unchanged, 
for  me  to  put  you  in  command 
again  is  to  justly  subject  me  to 
the  charge  of  having  put  you 
there  on  purpose  to  have  you  lose 
another.  If  I  knew  facts  sufficient 
to  satisfy  me  that  you  were  not 
in  fault,  or  error,  the  case  would 
be  different ;  but  the  facts  I  do 
know, while  they  are  not  at  all  con- 
clusive, and  I  hope  they  may 
never  prove  so,  tend  the  other 

"First,  I  have  scarcely  seen 
anything  from  you  at  any  time 
that  did  not  contain  imputations 
against  your  superiors,  and  a 
chafing  against  acting  the  part 
they  had  assigned  you.  You 
have  constantly  urged  the  idea 
that  you  were  persecuted  because 
you  did  not  come  from  West 
Point,  and  you  repeat  it  in  these 
letters.  This,  my  dear  general, 
is,  I  fear,  the  rock  on  which  you 
have  split. 

"In  the  Winchester  case  you 
were  under  General  Schenck,  and 
he    under    General    Halleck.    I 

Vol.  VII.— 14 

know  by  General  Halleck's  order- 
book,  that  he,  on  the  11th  of 
June,  advised  General  Schenck 
to  call  you  in  from  Winchester  to 
Harper's  Ferry ;  and  I  have  been 
told,  but  do  not  know,  that  Gen- 
eral Schenck  gave  you  the  order 
accordingly,  on  the  same  day  — 
and  I  have  been  told,  but  do  not 
know,  that  on  receiving  it,  instead 
of  obeying  it,  you  sent  by  mail  a 
written  protest  against  obeying 
it,  which  did  not  reach  him  until 
you  were  actually  beleaguered  at 

"I  say  I  do  not  know  this.  You 
hate  West  Point  generally  and 
General  Halleck  particularly ; 
but  I  do  know  that  it  is  not  his 
fault  that  you  were  at  Winchester 
on  the  13th,  14th,  and  morning  of 
the  1 5th,  the  days  of  your  disas- 
ter. If  General  Schenck  gave 
the  order  on  the  11th,  as  General 
Halleck  advised,  it  was  an  easy 
matter  for  you  to  have  been  off 
at  least  on  the  12th.  The  case 
is  inevitably  between  General 
Schenck  and  you. 

"Neither  General  Halleck  nor 
any  one  else,  so  far  as  I  know, 
required  you  to  stay  and  fight 
60,000  with  6,000,  as  you  in- 

"  I  know  General  Halleck 
through  General  Schenck  re- 
quired you  to  get  away,  and  that 
in  abundant  time  for  you  to  have 
done  it. 

' '  General  Schenck  is  not  a  West 
Pointer,   and  has    no    prejudice 
against  you  on  that  score. 
"Yours  very  truly, 

"A.  Lincoln." 


June,  1863. 

to  Milroy, 

June  29, 
1863.     MS. 



June  14, 

5 : 50  P.  M 

W.  R. 



Part  I., 

p.  39. 

ch.  viii.  only  escaped  with  the  loss  of  a  large  proportion  of 
his  forces.  On  the  very  night  when  Ewell  struck 
Winchester,  Hill  began  his  march  up  the  Rappa- 
hannock; and  Hooker  also  left  the  Aquia  line,  mov- 
ing in  accordance  with  the  President's  directions, 
pursuing  the  road  indicated  towards  the  Upper 
Potomac.  Before  the  President  had  heard  of  Mil- 
roy's  disaster  he  telegraphed  to  Hooker  asking  if 
he  could  afford  any  succor  at  Winchester.  Draw- 
ing, in  one  of  his  vivid  phrases,  a  picture  of  the 
condition  of  the  rebel  army,  he  said,  "  If  the  head 
of  Lee's  army  is  at  Martinsburg,  and  the  tail  of  it 
on  the  plank  road  between  Fredericksburg  and 
Chancellorsville,  the  animal  must  be  very  slim 
somewhere.  Could  you  not  break  him  f  "  It  was 
not  until  the  night  of  the  15th  of  June  that  the 
President  was  able  to  telegraph  to  General  Hooker 
a  definite  account  of  the  loss  of  Winchester  and 
Martinsburg,  and  to  say  that  the  enemy  was  cross - 

ibid.,  P.  43.  ing  the  Potomac  at  Williamsport.  This  left  no 
doubt  on  Hooker's  mind  of  the  settled  purpose  of 
the  enemy,  though  he  thought  that  Lee  would  be 
more  inclined  to  go  north  and  west  than  to  turn  to 
the  east.  "  He  can  have  no  design,"  said  Hooker, 
in  a  dispatch  to  the  President,  "  to  look  after  his 
rear.  It  is  an  act  of  desperation  on  his  part,  no 
matter  in  what  force  he  moves." 

In  all  Hooker's  dispatches  of  this  period  there  is 
a  tone  of  sullen  reticence  arising  from  his  strained 
relations  with  General  Halleck,  which  boded  no 
good  to  the  interests  of  the  army.  For  instance,  in 
this  dispatch,  written  at  a  moment  which  called  for 
the  utmost  exercise  of  all  his  energy  and  vigor,  he 
says,  "  I  do  not  know  that  my  opinion  as  to  the 




duty  of  this  army,  in  the  case,  is  wanted ;  if  it 
should  be  you  know  that  I  will  be  happy  to  give  it." 
General  Halleck  on  the  same  day  had  telegraphed 
him,  "  Your  army  is  entirely  free  to  operate  as  you 
desire  against  Lee's  army,  so  long  as  you  keep  his 
main  army  from  Washington."  On  the  next  day, 
the  16th  of  June,  Hooker  sent  another  dispatch  to 
the  President  still  more  marked  in  its  spirit  of 
insubordination,  "  You  have  long  been  aware,  Mr. 
President,  that  I  have  not  enjoyed  the  confidence 
of  the  major-general  commanding  the  army,  and 
I  can  assure  you,  so  long  as  this  continues,  we  may 
look  in  vain  for  success,  especially  as  future  opera- 
tions will  require  our  relations  to  be  more  depend- 
ent upon  each  other  than  heretofore";  he  continued 
to  ask  for  instructions,  complaining  of  the  lack  of 
information  of  the  movements  of  the  enemy,  saying 
that  he  could  not "  divine  his  intentions,  so  long  as 
he  fills  the  country  with  a  cloud  of  cavalry."  The 
President,  seeing  that  only  disaster  could  follow 
the  exhibition  of  such  a  spirit  on  the  part  of  the 
general  in  command  of  a  great  army  in  the  most 
momentous  crisis  of  the  war,  responded  in  a  tone 
of  unusual  sternness :  "  To  remove  all  misunder- 
standing, I  now  place  you  in  the  strict  military 
relation  to  General  Halleck  of  a  commander  of  one 
of  the  armies  to  the  general-in-chief  of  all  the 
armies.  I  have  not  intended  differently,  but  it 
seems  to  be  differently  understood.  I  shall  direct 
him  to  give  you  orders,  and  you  to  obey  them." 
But  at  the  same  time  he  sent  Hooker  by  the 
hand  of  his  young  friend  Captain  Ulric  Dahlgren 
a  letter  in  which,  laying  aside  his  tone  of  au- 
thority, he  pleaded  with  the  gentlest  persuasion 

Ch.  viii. 

w.  R. 

Part  I., 

p.  42. 

W.  R. 



Part  I., 

p.  45. 

Ibid.,  p.  47. 


ch.  viii.    for  a  better  understanding  between  the  two  gen- 
erals. He  said : 

(Private.)  Executive  Mansion, 

Washington,  June  16, 1863. 

My  dear  General  :  I  send  you  this  by  the  hand  of 
Capt.  Dahlgren.  Your  dispatch  of  11 :  30  A.  m.  to-day  is 
just  received.  When  you  say  I  have  long  been  aware 
that  you  do  not  enjoy  the  confidence  of  the  major-gen- 
eral commanding  you  state  the  case  much  too  strongly. 

You  do  not  lack  his  confidence  in  any  degree  to  do  you 
any  harm.  On  seeing  him,  after  telegraphing  you  this 
morning,  I  found  him  more  nearly  agreeing  with  you 
than  I  was  myself.  Surely  you  do  not  mean  to  under- 
stand that  I  am  withholding  my  confidence  from  you, 
when  I  happen  to  express  an  opinion  (certainly  never 
discourteously)  differing  from  one  of  your  own. 

I  believe  Halleck  is  dissatisfied  with  you,  to  this  extent 
only,  that  he  knows  that  you  write  and  telegraph  (report 
as  he  calls  it)  to  me.  I  think  he  is  wrong  to  find  fault 
with  this ;  but  I  do  not  think  he  withholds  any  support 
from  you  on  account  of  it.  If  you  and  he  would  use  the 
same  frankness  to  one  another,  and  to  me,  that  I  use  to 
both  of  you,  there  would  be  no  difficulty.  I  need  and  must 
have  the  professional  skill  of  both,  and  yet  these  sus- 
picions tend  to  deprive  me  of  both. 

I  believe  you  are  aware  that  since  you  took  command 
of  the  army,  I  have  not  believed  you  had  any  chance  to 
effect  anything  till  now.  As  it  looks  to  me,  Lee's  now 
returning  towards  Harper's  Ferry  gives  you  back  the 
chance  that  I  thought  McClellan  lost  last  fall.  Quite 
possibly  I  was  wrong  both  then  and  now;  but,  in  the 
great  responsibility  resting  upon  me,  I  cannot  be  entirely 
silent.  Now,  all  I  ask  is  that  you  will  be  in  such  mood 
that  we  can  get  into  our  action  the  best  cordial  judgment 
of  yourself  and  General  Halleck,  with  my  poor  mite 
to  Hooker,  added,  if  indeed  he  and  you  shall  think  it  entitled  to  any 
i863?6ms.    consideration  at  all.  Yours  as  ever, 

A.  Lincoln. 

In  short  the  relations  between  General  Halleck 
and  General  Hooker  were  rapidly  becoming  nnen- 


durable.    An    instinctive    dislike   between   them,    ch.  viii. 
which  dated  from  earlier  days  in  California,  had 
grown  to  a  positive  and  active   antipathy.     The 
President  had  placed  Hooker  in  command  of  the 
Army  of  the  Potomac  against  the  judgment  and  committee 
wishes  of  General    Halleck.    Hooker    was   made  o?tiiTwar, 
aware  of  this  through  the  indiscretion  of  a  member     vol.  i., 
of  the  Cabinet,  and  his  trenchant  comments  upon 
the    general-in-chief  were   promptly  reported  at 
headquarters.    Every  act  of  each   was  misinter- 
preted by  the  other.     "It  was  sufficient  for  me," 
said  Hooker  on  one  occasion,  "  to  make  a  request  to 
have  it  refused."    Halleck,  on  the  other  hand,  was 
annoyed  at  the  frequent  and  friendly  communica- 
tion   between    the    President    and    Hooker.    He 
affected  to  believe  that  he  had  no  authority  over 
the  general.    In  a  letter  to  the  Secretary  of  War,       i863. 
dated  May  23,  he  pretended  to  have  no  informa- 
tion in  regard  to  the  Army  of  the  Potomac  since 
General  Hooker  assumed  command,   except  that      w.  u. 

Vol.  XXV. 

which   he  had  received  from  the  President,  "to    Partn.,*' 

7  pp.  506,  516. 

whom,"  he  says,  "  G-eneral  Hooker  reports  directly." 
It  is  hard  to  determine  whether  in  this  case,  as  in 
that  of  Burnside,  he  refrained  from  assuming 
responsibility  more  from  punctilio  than  from 

It  cannot  be  said  that  the  coolness  existing  be- 
tween the  two  generals  had  as  yet  affected  injuri- 
ously the  interests  of  the  campaign  in  progress. 
General  Hooker  was  moving  his  force  from  the  line 
of  Aquia  to  the  Potomac  with  wonderful  efficiency 
and  skill.  Although  the  President  saw  with  some 
regret  that  no  movement  was  made  against  the 
long-stretched  flank  of  Lee's  army,  it  is  undeniable 



Ch.  VIIL 

June,  1863. 

POSITIONS  JUNE  17,  1863. 

that  Hooker  was  pursuing  the  wisest  course  in  swing- 
ing his  army  around  on  the  inside  of  a  parallel  arc 
to  that  occupied  by  Lee,  and  in  doing  this  he  was 
only  following  out  the  President's  clear  and  judi- 
cious orders  of  the  10th.  The  march  of  his  army 
to  the  Potomac  was  scarcely  less  able  and  success- 
ful than  his  famous  movement  across  the  Rappa- 
hannock and  Rapidan;  and  on  General  Halleck's 
part  it  does  not  appear  that  General  Hooker's 
complaints  of  malevolent  interference  were  valid. 


Generals  Heintzelman  and  Wool  were  ordered  to  ch.  vin. 
report  to  him  constantly.  He  was  given  full  com- 
mand of  their  troops,  except  those  specially  set 
apart  for  the  defense  of  Washington ;  and  all  that 
part  of  the  Middle  department  east  of  Cumberland 
which  was  commanded  by  General  Schenck  was 
placed  under  Hooker's  direct  orders. 

General  Hooker's  action  was  never  more  intelli-  June,  1863. 
gent  and  energetic  than  at  this  time.  He  made  no 
mistakes,  and  he  omitted  nothing  that  could  prop- 
erly be  done ;  although  he  complained  of  Lee's 
"  cloud  of  cavalry,"  which  prevented  him  from  ob- 
taining information  of  his  movements,  he  managed 
his  own  cavalry  with  such  vigor  and  efficiency  that 
the  enemy  was  kept  equally  in  the  dark.  The 
superiority  of  the  Confederate  cavalry  had  disap- 
peared with  the  McClellan  regime ;  from  the  time 
Hooker  assumed  command,  and  more  especially 
from  the  hour  in  which  Pleasonton  took  the  mounted 
force  in  hand,  the  Union  cavalry  began  to  meet  their 
opponents  upon  equal  terms,  and  at  every  en- 
counter where  the  forces  were  not  disproportionate 
they  gained  the  advantage.  It  had  been  the  hope 
and  expectation  of  Lee  to  hold  the  passes  of  the  Bull 
Run  mountains  with  his  cavalry,  and  behind  that 
living  screen  to  use  the  east  and  the  west  slopes  of 
the  Blue  Ridge  for  the  march  of  his  army  north- 
ward; but  the  energy  and  skill  with  which  the 
Union  cavalry  was  managed  rendered  this  plan 
abortive.  At  Aldie,  at  Middleburg,  at  Thoroughfare 
Gap,  and  at  every  point  where  the  Confederate 
cavalry  appeared,  they  were  attacked  by  Pleasonton 
and  his  subordinates,  Gregg,  Buford,  and  Judson 
Kilpatrick,  and  driven  backward  in  every  fight, 


ch.  viii.    until  at  last  Stuart  retired  to  Ashby's  Gap  under 
the  protection  of  Longstreet's  infantry.1 

But  these  successes  of  his  cavalry  did  not  tempt 
Hooker  to  any  imprudent  advance  upon  the  flank 
of  the  enemy.  General  Lee  says  in  his  report  that 
Longstreet's  advance  upon  the  east  side  of  the 
Blue  Ridge,  and  his  occupation  of  the  passes,  were 
for  the  purpose  of  drawing  Hooker  farther  from  his 
base;  but  even  the  advance  of  Ewell  across  the 
river,  and  the  news  of  the  panic  and  terror  his  cruel 
exactions  were  exciting  among  the  peaceful  farmers 
of  Maryland  and  Pennsylvania,  did  not  have  the 
desired  effect  of  drawing  Hooker  away  from  his 
well-considered  plan.  Seeing  himself  out-manoeu- 
vred in  this  respect,  General  Lee  withdrew  Long- 
street  from  the  passes  and  sent  him  down  the 
valley  after  Ewell,  where  Hill  had  already  pre- 
ceded him.2  Stuart  was  left  alone  to  guard  the 
passes  of  the  mountains  and  to  watch  the  move- 
ments of  Hooker;  the  duty  assigned  him,  besides 
keeping  Lee  informed  of  every  movement  of  the 
Union  army,  was  to  worry  and  harass  it  as  much 
as  possible,  and  try  to  delay,  or  even  prevent,  its 
crossing  the  Potomac.  This  was  a  task,  as  it  proved, 

1  "  The   success  of  the  Union  on  each  side." —  "  History  of  the 

cavalry  was  complete ;  the  moral  Civil    War,"   by    the    Comte   de 

advantage  was  as  great   as  the  Paris.    Vol.  VI.,  p.  174. 
material  result;  it  had  attacked        2  "As  these  demonstrations  did 

the  cavalry  of  the  enemy  wher-  not  have  the  effect  of  causing  the 

ever  it  had  met  it,  and  had  always  Federal  army  to  leave  Virginia, 

in  the  end  had  the  advantage.  The  and  as  it  did  not  seem  disposed 

highest  proof  of  the  new  qualities  to  advance  upon  the  position  held 

which  it  had  just  revealed  is  found  by    Longstreet,    the    latter  was 

in  the  reports  of  its  opponents,  withdrawn  to  the  west  side  of  the 

who  constantly  believed  they  were  Shenandoah,  General  Hill  having 

dealing  with  forces  double  their  already  reached    the    valley." — 

own,  while  in  reality  the  number  Lee,  Report.  W.  R.  Vol.  XXVII., 

of  the  combatants  was  about  equal  Part  II.,  p.  306. 



far  beyond  his  powers.  He  had  all  he  could  do  to 
defend  himself  from  harassment  and  annoyance. 
Every  time  he  approached  the  Federal  force  he  was 
beaten  off,  and  at  last,  relinquishing  all  hope  of 
effecting  anything  against  Hooker's  moving  host, 
he  struck  to  the  eastward  and  performed  his  favor- 
ite feat  of  riding  around  the  Union  army.  He 
crossed  the  Potomac  at  Seneca  Creek,  captured 
a  train  at  Eockville,  made  a  long  and  fatiguing 
detour  at  a  great  distance  from  the  right  flank  of 
the  National  forces,  lost  his  way  between  York  and 
Carlisle,  and  after  six  days  of  desperate  marching 
and  frequent  unsuccessful  engagements,  during 
which  he  accomplished  little  except  to  weary  and 
cripple  a  great  portion  of  his  command,  he  joined 
the  main  body  of  Lee  on  the  evening  of  the  2d 
of  July,  too  late  to  be  of  any  real  service  in  the 
invasion  of  Pennsylvania. 

"By  the  24th"  (of  June),  General  Lee  says, "  the 
progress  of  Ewell  rendered  it  necessary  that  the  rest 
of  the  army  should  be  within  supporting  distance";1 
he  therefore  put  the  columns  of  Longstreet  and 
Hill  at  once  in  movement,  and  they  both  crossed  the 

Government  at  Washington  and 
result  in  a  diversion  useful  to  the 
Confederate  invasion.  Mr.  Davis 
wrote  in  reply  that  it  was  impos- 
sible to  satisfy  this  demand  ;  that 
all  his  generals  were  making  the 
same  requests,  and  there  was  no 
force  anywhere  to  meet  them. 
This  letter  was  captured  by  Cap- 
tain Ulric  Dahlgren,  and,  falling 
into  the  hands  of  General  Meade, 
was  an  encouraging  proof  of  the 
straits  to  which  the  Confederate 


1  On  the  point  of  crossing  the 
Potomac,  General  Lee  seems  to 
have  had  for  the  moment  a  feel- 
ing that  his  forces  might  prove 
insufficient  for  the  daring  adven- 
ture upon  which  he  was  em- 
barked. He  wrote  on  the  23d 
a  letter  to  Mr.  Davis,  in  which  he 
begged  him  to  send  him  every 
man  who  could  be  placed  at  his 
disposition,  and  to  concentrate  at 
Culpeper  all  the  rest  of  the 
forces  in  Virginia  under  the  com- 
mand of  Beauregard,  in  the  hope 
that  a  show  of  force  at  that  point 
might  have  its  effect  upon  the 

W.  R. 



Part  II., 

pp.  306,  307. 


Part  III. 

p.  925. 

Government  were  put  in  sustain- 
ing their  invading  army.  W.  R. 
Vol.  XXVIL,  Part  L,  p.  76. 



Ch.  viii. 


W.  R. 



Part  II., 

p    307. 

June,  1863. 

Potomac  without  opposition,  the  one  at  Williams* 
port,  the  other  at  Shepherdstown;  and  coming 
together  at  Hagerstown,  they  crossed  Mason  and 
Dixon's  line  and  encamped  for  the  first  time  on  free 
soil  near  Chambersburg  on  the  27th  of  June.  On 
account  of  the  failure  of  his  cavalry,  Lee  was  act- 
ing in  entire  ignorance  of  Hooker's  movements; 
but  with  that  contempt  of  his  enemy  which  was 
one  source  of  strength  to  him,  and  a  source  of 
weakness  as  well,  he  pushed  forward,  trusting  to 
meet  every  emergency  as  it  arose.  His  only  fear 
seems  to  have  been  that  Hooker  might  push  his 
forces  west  of  South  Mountain,  and  thus  cut  off 
his  communications  with  Virginia.  To  prevent  this 
he  caused  Early's  division  to  be  sent  as  far  east  as 
possible,  hoping  by  this  demonstration  to  frighten 
his  antagonist  away  from  his  own  line. 

The  march  of  Ewell  had  spread  the  wildest  terror 
and  consternation  among  the  rural  population  on 
his  route.  The  farmers,  who  were  harvesting  their 
crops,  saw  the  fruits  of  their  year's  labor  snatched 
from  them  in  a  moment,  their  horses  and  cattle 
driven  away,  and  in  the  Lower  Shenandoah  and  in 
Maryland  their  negro  neighbors  seized  to  be  sold  in- 
to slavery  in  the  South.  There  was  a  great  show  of 
justice  and  fairness  in  the  orders  and  proclamations 
of  General  Lee ;  everything  seized  was  to  be  paid 
for;  but  as  payment  was  made  in  Confederate  scrip,1 

w.  E. 

Part  I.. 

p.  65. 

l  "  The  people  are  exceedingly- 
ignorant.  .  .  They  think  onr  Con- 
federate money  is  worth  no  more 
than  brown  paper,  and  one  man 
sold  one  hundred  and  fifty  dollars 
of  it  for  a  twenty  shilling  gold 
piece.  Most  refuse  to  take  it,  and 
prefer  that   you  take  what  you 

wish  without  compensation  in 
this  form."—  Letter  in  the  Rich- 
mond "  Sentinel,"  Moore, " Rebel- 
lion Record."  Vol.  VII.,  Docu- 
ments, p.  324.  They  have  "lots 
of  Confederate  money:  carry  it 
in  flour  barrels." — Meade  to  Hal- 
leck,  June  28, 1863. 


which  was  absolutely  worthless  outside  of  the  ch.  viii. 
rebel  lines,  it  may  be  thought  that  General  i863. 
Lee  has  received  more  credit  than  is  due  to  him 
for  this  pretense  of  scrupulosity.  His  army,  as  a 
matter  of  course,  gave  a  liberal  interpretation  to 
his  orders.  Letters  printed  in  Southern  papers 
from  correspondents  in  the  army,  treated  them  as  a 
dead  letter,  and  ridiculed  the  idea  that  the  starving 
soldiers  of  the  South  should  not  enjoy  the  fatness 
of  the  enemy's  country.  All  the  plunder  which 
was  not  needed  for  immediate  use  was  sent  down 
the  Cumberland  Valley  and  across  the  river.  The 
panic-stricken  farmers  fled  in  every  direction,  but 
principally  to  the  North;  the  roads  were  encum- 
bered with  melancholy  caravans  of  fugitives  bear- 
ing their  families  and  their  household  goods  away 
from  the  scene  of  danger,  the  whites  trying  to 
rescue  as  much  of  their  stores  as  they  could  hastily 
gather  together,  and  the  unhappy  negroes  to  save 
themselves  and  their  families  from  capture,  sale, 
and  lifelong  separation.  Among  the  rich  cities  of 
central  Pennsylvania,  and  even  as  far  as  Philadel- 
phia in  the  east  and  Pittsburg  in  the  west,  there 
was  great  excitement  and  concern.  General  Lee  was 
bearing  directly  upon  Harrisburg,  a  great  center 
of  trade  and  railway  transportation,  the  capture 
and  destruction  of  which  would  have  inflicted  a 
staggering  blow  upon  the  prosperity  of  the  State.1 

1  The  Richmond  "Whig"  of  the  destroy  the  costly  and  not  easily 

2d  of  July,  encouraged  by  a  false  replaced  machinery  of  the  pits ; 

report  of  the  occupation  of  Har-  he  might  then  set  fire  to  the  coal 

risburg  by  Lee,  announced  that  mines,  withdraw  the  forces  sent 

his  first  aim  would  be  to  cut  all  out  on  special  duty,  and  leave  the 

the  railroad  connections,  and  thus  heart    of  Pennsylvania  on  fire, 

put  a  stop  to  the  transportation  never  to  be  quenched  until  a  river 

of  fuel.     His  next  would  be  to  should  be  turned  into  its  pits  or 



Ch.  VIII. 





Aug.  22, 


W.  R. 



Part  II., 

pp.  466,  467. 

As  early  as  the  15th  of  June  the  President,  fore- 
seeing this  invasion,  had  called  into  the  service  of 
the  United  States  100,000  militia  from  the  States 
of  Pennsylvania,  Ohio,  Maryland,  and  "West  Vir- 
ginia to  serve  for  six  months,  unless  sooner  dis- 
charged. The  Governors  of  all  these  States  had 
promptly  responded  to  this  proclamation,  and  sum- 
moned the  militia  to  stated  places  of  rendezvouSo 
The  Governors  of  New  York  and  New  Jersey  had 
also  called  upon  their  citizens  to  go  to  the  assist- 
ance of  their  neighbors.  These  calls  were  re- 
sponded to  with  promptness,  and  a  large  number 
of  militia  and  unorganized  bodies  of  citizens 
thronged  the  railroads  to  the  banks  of  the  Susque- 
hanna. It  is  probable  that  they  would  not  have 
offered  much  resistance  to  the  disciplined  army  of 
Lee,  but  the  show  of  force  which  they  made  was 
doubtless  of  service  in  checking  his  advance. 

None  of  his  forces  crossed  the  river.  Ewell's 
corps  took  possession  of  the  city  of  Car- 
lisle, and  a  division  under  Early  was  sent  to  York, 
which  it  occupied  on  the  28th  of  June ;  he  laid  that 
place  under  heavy  contribution,  demanding  one 
hundred  thousand  dollars  in  cash  and  a  large 
amount  of  provisions  and  clothing,  in  consideration 
of  which  he  kindly  refrained  from  destroying  the 
town.1    The  bridge  over  the  Susquehanna  at  Co- 

thevast  supply  of  coal  was  re- 
duced into  ashes.  The  anthracite 
coal  was  found  in  large  quantities 

was  to  seize  the  anthracite  fields, 
destroy  the  roads  and  the  ma- 
chinery of  the  pits,  set  fire  to  the 

in  no  other  part  of  the  world  but    mines,  and  leave  them.   Northern 

Pennsylvania,  enormous  quanti- 
ties were  used  in  theUnited  States 
navy,  the  countless  workshops 
and  manufactories  of  the  North, 
in  the  river  boats,  and  even  upon  dress 
locomotives.  All  that  was  needed    upon 

industry  would  thus  be  paralyzed 

at  a  single  blow. 

1  General  Early,  on  leaving  the 

town,  issued  a  magniloquent  ad- 
to  the  citizens,  calling 
them    to    recognize     his 



lumbia  was  destroyed  just  before  the  Confederate  ch.  viii. 
cavalry  reached  it.  A  system  of  fortifications  was 
hastily  thrown  up  south  of  the  Susquehanna  at 
Harrisburg.  But  the  force  of  militia  under  Gen- 
eral Couch  —  though  it  was  not  called  into  actual 
battle  —  was  probably  more  effective  than  these 
works  in  preventing  an  attack  upon  that  city. 
This  state  of  excitement  and  terror  in  the  peaceful 
towns  and  villages  of  Pennsylvania  found  its 
contre-coup  in  the  city  of  Richmond.  The  demon- 
stration made  by  the  Union  forces  under  General 
Dix  threw  the  Confederate  capital  into  great 
panic;  the  entire  male  population  was  called  to 
the  defense  of  the  works,  and  it  was  even  pro- 
posed to  call  boys  from  twelve  to  eighteen  into 
the  service.  The  forces  under  Colonel  Spears  de- 
stroyed the  bridge  over  the  South  Anna,  and  among 
other  captures  brought  in  General  W.  F.  Lee  and 
a  less  valuable  prize  of  $15,000  in  Confederate 
bonds,  taken  from  an  agent  of  the  Eichmond 

The  operations  of  Pleasonton  having  brushed 
the  enemy  entirely  out  of  Loudon  County  and 
given  General  Hooker  control  of  the  Potomac  be- 
low Harper's  Ferry,  he  was  able  to  choose  at  per- 
fect leisure  his  time  and  place  for  crossing  the 


'  Sentinel," 

June  20. 

lenity  in  not  burning  their  town. 
"Had  I  applied  the  torch,"  he 
said,  "  without  regard  to  the  con- 
sequences, I  would  have  pursued 
a  course  that  would  have  been 
fully  vindicated  as  an  act  of  just 
retaliation  for  the  unparalleled 
acts  of  brutality  perpetrated  by 
your  own  army  on  our  soil.  But 
we  do  not  war  upon  women  and 
children,  and  I  trust  the  treat- 

ment you  have  met  with  at  the 
hands  of  my  soldiers  will  open 
your  eyes  to  the  odious  tyranny 
under  which,  it  is  apparent  to 
all,  you  are  groaning."  Some 
hundreds  of  Southern  cities 
were,  at  the  moment  this  pre- 
posterous document  was  issued, 
resting  in  peace  and  security 
under  the  flag  of  the  United 

Vol.  VII., 
p.  328. 



Ch.  VIII. 

POSITIONS  JUNE  28,  1863. 

river.  He  waited  until  Lee's  whole  army  was  on 
the  north  side,  and  then  crossed  at  Edwards's  Ferry. 
He  directed  General  Reynolds  to  seize  the  passes 
of  the  South  Mountain  so  as  not  only  to  anticipate 
the  enemy  in  their  possession,  but  also  to  confine 
him  to  a  single  line  of  invasion  west  of  those  hills. 
He  then  directed  Reynolds  with  the  First,  Third, 
and  Eleventh  Corps  to  take  position  at  Middle- 


town.    He  determined  at  once  to  strike  the  point    ch.  viii. 
where  General  Lee  was  most  sensitive,  to  pnsh  a 
strong  colnmn  directly  west  upon  his  line  of  com- 
munications, and  to  keep  the  rest  of  his  army  in 
position  to  support  it.    The  feeling  of  grievance 
which  he  had  towards  General  Halleck  had  not  for 
a  moment  influenced  his  action  or  impeded  his 
zealous  activity ;  but  the  feeling  remained  ;  and  on 
the  27th,  just  before  leaving  Poolesville  to  make  a  June,  1863. 
personal  inspection  of  the  post  of  Harper's  Ferry, 
he  telegraphed  to  the  general-in-chief,  somewhat 
in  the  old  familiar  tone  of  McClellan  before  a 
battle,  that  his  whole  force  of  enlisted  men  for 
duty  would  not  exceed  105,000,  adding  that  he      w  R 
stated  these  facts  so  that  more  might  not  be  ex-    xxvir., 
pected  of  him  than  he  had  material  to  do  with.     Ppf  59*"' 

He  had  previously  sent  Greneral  Butterfield,  his 
chief  of  staff,  to  Washington  and  Baltimore  in  the 
hope  of  organizing  a  strong  movable  corps  to  reen- 
force  him  on  his  crossing.  At  Washington  Gen- 
eral Halleck  had  assured  him  that  there  was  not  a 
man  who  could  be  spared  from  the  defense  of  the 
city,  and  at  Baltimore  General  Schenck,  with  all 
the  good- will  possible,  could  only  raise  a  force  of 
2100.  His  scouts  and  spies  were  continually 
bringing  him  information  of  the  strength  of  Lee's 
army,  and,  as  usual  in  such  cases,  their  estimates 
were  much  exaggerated.  There  was  no  soldier  in 
our  army  of  stouter  heart  than  Hooker,  and  he 
seemed  in  this  campaign  to  have  recovered  all 
that  keenness  of  insight  and  steadiness  of  judg- 
ment which  was  obscured  for  a  while  at  Chancel- 
lorsville.  Nevertheless  it  is  clear  that  a  feeling  of 
something  like  despondency  attacked  him  after  he 


ch.  viii.  had  transported  his  army  across  the  Potomac. 
He  seemed  to  feel  that  too  much  was  expected  of 
him;  that  anything  but  the  most  brilliant  suc- 
cesses would  be  viewed  in  the  disparaging  light  of 
Chancellorsville ;  that  the  country  demanded  that 
he  should  not  only  protect  the  capital,  but  destroy 
the  rebel  army ;  and  in  view  of  the  impression  he 
had  received  as  to  Lee's  superior  numbers  he  be- 
gan to  think  that  such  a  task  might  not  be  possible 
with  the  force  he  had.1 

In  this  frame  of  mind  he  wished  to  dispose 
absolutely  of  every  man  within  his  reach,  and  it 
seemed  a  personal  affront  to  him  if  any  troops  he 
asked  for  were  withheld  from  him.  Before  starting 
for  Harper's  Ferry  he  sent  a  dispatch  to  General 
Halleck,  asking  if  there  were  any  reason  why 
Maryland  Heights  could  not  be  abandoned  after 
the  public  stores  and  property  were  removed ;  and, 
after  going  to  that  point,  his  conviction  was  con- 
firmed that  the  large  force  there  was  utterly  wasted 
for  any  practical  purpose.  His  plan  was  to  march 
the  Twelfth  Corps  in  that  direction,  to  join  to  them 
the  garrison  of  Maryland  Heights,  and  with  this 
considerable  force  to  move  upon  Lee's  rear;  to 
destroy  his  bridges  if  there  were  any  left ;  and  to 
drive  away  his  guard  and  intercept  the  opulent 
flow  of  stores,  grain,  horses,  and  cattle  which 
Ewell  was  pouring  down  the  Cumberland  Valley 
into  Virginia. 

.  1  • "  It  was  expected  of  me  by  the  easy  for  one  man  to  whip  another 

Testimony,  country  that  I  would  not  only  of  corresponding  strength,  but  to 

Report  whip  the  army  of  the  enemy  but  do  that  and  at  the  same  time  pre- 

oi^Conduct  prevent  it  from  escaping.     This  vent    the    other    from    running 

of  the  War,  I  considered  too    much  for    the  away  requires  in  my  judgment  a 

VoLI.  authorities  to    expect  with  the  little  superiority  of  one  over  the 

p.  173.'  force   I  had.    It   may  be   very  other." 





On  the  ground,  he  could  see  more  clearly  than    ch.  viii. 
ever  that  the  troops   there    were  useless ;    they 
guarded  no  ford  of  the  Potomac;  the  place  was  not 
in  itself  defensible ;  its  sole  apparent  purpose  was 
to  protect  a  railroad  bridge;  the  engineer  in  charge, 
Colonel  Reynolds,  agreed  with  him  that  if  it  were 
ever  of  any  use  it  was  certainly  useless  now,  when 
the  rebel  army  had  passed  above  it  in  force.    As 
General  Hooker  afterwards  said,  "  Even  if  it  were 
the  key  to  Maryland,  of  what  value  was  the  key 
after  the  door  was  smashed  in  ? "    He  sat  down  to 
write  an  order  for  the  abandonment  of  the  post 
when  to  his  deep  disappointment  he  received  a 
dispatch  from  General  Halleck,  saying,  "  Maryland 
Heights  have  always  been  regarded  as  an  important  t^JS*. 
point  to  be  held  by  us,  and  much  expense  and  labor  1833une^'R. 
incurred  in  fortifying  them.   I  cannot  approve  their    xxvil, 
abandonment  except  in  case  of  absolute  necessity."     P?ffc59*" 
General  Hooker  immediately  replied  reiterating  his 
conviction  that  the  troops  were  wasted  there  ;  that 
even  if  the  works  were  abandoned  no  enemy  would 
ever  take  possession  of  them ;  that  under  present 
circumstances  the  force  left  there  was  merely  a  bait  to^aifeck. 
for  the  rebels  should  they  return.     But  no  such      p1^; 
reply  as  this,  no  mere  expression  of  his   opinion 
could  satisfy  the  deep  feeling  of  resentment  and 
disappointment  with  which  he  received   General 
Halleck's  dispatch.    He  wrote  and  sent,  at  the  same 
moment,  another  telegram  saying  that  he  was  un- 
able with  the  means  at  his    disposal    to    cover 
Harper's  Ferry  and  Washington,  and  to  fight  an 
enemy  in  his  front  of  more  than  his  numbers ;  he 
therefore  requested  to  be  at  once  relieved  from  the       iwa. 
position  he  occupied. 
Vol.  VII.— 15 


ch.  viii.  It  will  always  be  impossible  to  say  whether  Gen- 
eral Hooker  intended  to  be  taken  at  his  word.  We 
believe  he  never  gave  the  slightest  intimation 
that  he  intended  to  allow  the  Government  the  al- 
ternative of  yielding  to  his  wishes  or  accepting  his 

Townsend,  t» 

orders,     resignation.     But  the  situation  was  so  critical  and 
w.6r.      time  was  so  precious  that  none  could  be  lost  in  par- 

xxvii.,    ley  or  delay.    General  James  A.  Hardie  was  at  once 
Pp?369.L'    dispatched  to  the  headquarters  of  the  army  with 
a  message  relieving  General  Hooker,  at  his  own  re- 
quest, and  appointing  in  his  place  General  George 
Gordon  Meade,  commanding  the  Fifth  Corps. 

General  Meade  had  served  with  distinction  on 
almost  every  battlefield  of  the  Army  of  the  Poto- 
mac. He  enjoyed  the  respect  and  esteem  of  all 
its  officers  and  men,  with  perhaps  the  sole  exception 
of  his  predecessor.  For  as,  when  Burnside  was 
deposed,  the  person  most  ungrateful  to  his  feelings 
was  put  in  his  place,  so  now  by  a  strange  caprice 
of  fortune,  Hooker  himself  was  to  drain  the  cup  he 
had  made  so  bitter  for  Burnside,  and  was  to  hand 
over  the  baton  of  command  to  his  most  conspicuous 
critic.  Ever  since  the  battle  of  Chancellors ville 
the  relations  between  the  two  officers  had  been  so 
unfriendly  that  when  Hardie  arrived  at  Meade's 
tent  with  an  official  envelope  and  a  look  of  unusual 
solemnity,  the  latter  thought  it  was  an  order  of 
arrest  for  himself.  Meade  was  a  tall,  thin,  reserved 
man,  very  near-sighted,  with  the  air  of  the  student 
.  rather  than  of  the  sabreur.  He  had  none  of  the 
genial  gifts  and  graces  which  were  in  different 
ways  possessed  by  all  of  those  who  had  preceded 
him  in  command.  But  he  was  well  known  as  an  able 
and  energetic  soldier,  of  approved  courage  and  calm 



judgment  in  difficult  circumstances ;  and  it  is  an 
evidence  of  his  own  worth  and  of  the  splendid 
moral  qualities  of  the  great  army  he  commanded, 
that  this  perilous  change,  made  in  a  moment  of 
supreme  importance,  was  accepted  both  by  him 
and  his  soldiery  without  an  instant  of  confu- 
sion or  hesitation.  They  went  on  in  the  line  of 
duty  without  breaking  step,  without  a  tremor  of 
the  pulse.  Hooker  gave  his  congratulations  in  his 
usual  hearty  and  chivalrous  manner;  he  compli- 
mented Meade  in  general  orders  as  "  a  brave  and 
accomplished  officer,  who  has  nobly  earned  the  con- 
fidence and  esteem  of  this  army  on  many  a  well- 
fought  field."  He  took  leave  of  his  comrades  in 
touching  and  generous  words,  and  then  rode  away 
from  the  Army  of  the  Potomac  forever.1 

One  cannot  help  a  feeling  of  regret  at  this  sudden 
termination  of  Hooker's  command.  He  had  never 
exhibited  more  vigor  and  ability,  more  insight  and 
capacity,  than  in  this  fortnight  which  preceded  his 
resignation.  Every  step  of  the  way  from  Falmouth 
to  Frederick  he  had  shown  the  finest  qualities  of 
generalship  ;  he  had  known  when  to  move  and  when 
to  halt,  when  to  strike  and  when  to  refrain  from 
striking.    When  he  was  relieved  he  was  on  his  way 

Ch.  viii. 

1  He  reported  for  orders  from 
Baltimore,  and  receiving  no  reply 
made  a  visit  to  Washington,  when 
he  was  placed  under   arrest  for 

cordiality.  Afterwards,  however, 
he  gave  the  President  to  under- 
stand that  he  did  not  wish  the 
assignment     made, —  which,    it 

visiting  the  capital  without  leave    must  be    admitted  was   natural 

—  a  proceeding  entirely  legal  but 
most  ungracious.  Later  he  ap- 
plied to  the  President  to  assign 
him  to  duty  in  a  subordinate 
capacity  with  the  Army  of  the 
Potomac.       This    the    President 

enough, —  and  the  President  in 
some  embarrassment  was  forced 
to  make  this  known  to  Hooker ; 
for  whom  he  was  able  after  a 
while  to  arrange  a  command 
in   the  West,  where   he    gained 



June  28, 

1863.    W.  R. 



Part  III., 

p.  373. 

was  anxious  to  do,  and  Meade  at    new  laurels  in  the  battles  about 
first    consented     with    apparent    Chattanooga. 


ch.  vni.  to  the  very  point  where  Lee  considered  his  armoi 
the  weakest.  If  he  had  remained  in  command, 
with  his  clearness  of  vision  and  boldness  of  plan- 
ning, joined  with  that  impetuosity  of  attack  which 
he  showed  on  every  occasion,  except  once  in  his 
life,  it  is  easy  to  imagine  what  splendid  results  he 
might  have  accomplished  for  the  cause  he  had  so 
intensely  at  heart.  But  when,  on  the  other  hand, 
we  reflect  how  feebly  he  concluded  at  Chancellors- 
ville  the  work  he  had  so  magnificently  begun,  how 
suddenly  and  unaccountably  the  daring  will,  the 
brilliant  intellect,  of  the  30th  of  April,  became 
clouded  with  doubt  and  hesitation  the  next  day, 
and  passed  into  disastrous  eclipse  on  the  3d  of  May, 
we  cannot  but  admit  that  the  President  was  right 
in  taking  alarm  at  the  querulous  tone  of  his  dis- 
patches from  Poolesville  and  Harper's  Ferry,  and 
in  concluding  that  a  general  who  resigns  his  com- 
mission on  the  eve  of  battle  should  always  have  his 
resignation  accepted,  let  the  consequences  be  what 
they  may. 



GENERAL  MEADE  assumed  command  of  the   chap.  ix. 
Army  of  the  Potomac  in  an  order  which  was 
equally  free  from  humility  and  bluster.   "  It  is  with       isea. 
just  diffidence,"  he  said,  "  that  I  relieve  in  the  com- 
mand of  this  army  an  eminent  and  accomplished 
soldier  whose  name  must  ever  appear  conspicuous 
in  the  history  of  its  achievements ;  but  I  rely  upon  the 
hearty  support  of  my  companions  in  arms  to  assist  i863Unew8R. 
me  in  the  discharge  of  the  duties  of  the  important     xxvii.; 
trust  which  has  been  confided  to  me."    To  General      pr.  374. " 
Halleck  he  simply  acknowledged  the  receipt  of  the 
order  placing  him  in  command.     "As  a  soldier,  I 
obey  it,"  he  said,  "  and  to  the  utmost  of  my  ability 
will  execute  it."     He  very  briefly  announced  his 
general  intention  to  be  to  "  move  toward  the  Sus- 
quehanna, keeping  Washington  and  Baltimore  well 
covered,    and   if     the  enemy   is    checked  in   his  to  Heai?eeck, 
attempt  to  cross  the  Susquehanna,  or  if  he  turns      li8?3.  ' 
towards  Baltimore,  to  give  him  battle."    He  asked      p.  si.' 
permission,  not,  as  Hooker  did,  to  abandon  Harper's 
Ferry,  but  to  withdraw  a  portion  of  its  garrison, 
leaving  enough  to  hold  Maryland  Heights  against  a 
coup-de-main ;  in  this  shape  the  request  met  with 
more  favorable  consideration  from  the  general-in- 









chap.  ix.  chief,  and  lie  left  the  disposition  to  be  made  of  the 
garrison  to  Meade's  discretion.  The  new  general 
made  no  change  in  the  administration  of  his  army ; 
he  retained,  for  the  time  being,  General  Hooker's 
staff ;  he  asked  that  three  meritorious  young  cap- 
tains of  cavalry,  Farnsworth,  Custer,  and  Merritt,  all 
recommended  by  General  Pleasonton,  and  two  of 
them  doomed  to  the  death  of  soldiers  in  the  flower 
of  their  youth,  should  be  made  brigadier-generals  — 
which  was  at  once  done.  The  authorities  at  Wash- 
ington placed  all  their  resources  freely  in  his  hands. 
He  had  nothing  to  do  but  go  forward  and  find  and 
fight  the  enemy.    He  had,  on  his  part,  no  desire  to 

June,  1863.  do  anything  else.  On  the  29th  he  placed  his  army 
in  motion  for  the  North,  with  a  front  stretching 
across  thirty  miles  of  country,  his  cavalry  guarding 
his  flanks  and  rear.  His  intention  remained  the 
same  as  that  of  the  day  before :  if  Lee  moved  for 
Baltimore,  to  get  between  his  main  army  and  that 
place;  if  he  should  attempt  to  cross  the  Susque- 
hanna, Meade  relied  upon  General  Couch,  with  his 
force,  to  hold  him  until  the  Army  of  the  Potomac 
could  fall  upon  his  rear.  With  this  general  plan  he 
moved  steadily  northward  as  rapidly  as  possible, 
his  corps  spread  out  like  a  fan  upon  the  diverging 
roads,  keeping  them  well  in  hand,  so  that  they 
might  rapidly  concentrate,  whenever  necessary,  to 
meet  an  attack  of  the  enemy  or  to  fall  upon  any 
detached  portion  of  his  force  which  they  might 

June,  1863.  It  was  not  until  the  evening  of  the  28th,  while 
preparing  to  march  upon  Harrisburg,  that  General 
Lee  became  aware  that  the  Army  of  the  Potomac 
had  crossed  into  Maryland.    By  detaching  his  cav- 


airy  in  every  direction  lie  had  deprived  himself  of  chap.  ix. 
his  usual  means  of  information.  Stuart  was  far  to 
the  east  on  a  useless  chase.  Imboden  in  the  west 
had  been  busily  engaged  in  breaking  up  the  Balti- 
more and  Ohio  Railroad  and  damaging,  as  far  as 
possible,  the  Chesapeake  Canal,  and  now,  although 
ordered  to  join  the  army  by  way  of  McConnells 
burg,  was  still  entirely  out  of  reach.  It  was  only 
through  a  scout  that  the  Confederate  General 
learned  that  the  Federal  army  was  advancing  north- 
ward, and  that  the  head  of  the  column  was  mena- 
cing his  communications  with  the  Potomac.  Even 
this  news,  when  it  reached  him,  was  more  than 
twenty-four  hours  old,  and  when  he  resolved  to 
concentrate  his  army  on  the  east  side  of  the  moun- 
tains for  the  purpose  of  diverting  the  supposed 
westward  Federal  movement,  that  movement  had 
been  already  abandoned,  and  Meade  was  moving 
with  the  greatest  rapidity  in  the  very  direction 
which  Lee  desired  to  have  him  take. 

While  Longstreet  and  Hill,  in  pursuance  of  Lee's 
orders,  were  marching  east  through  the  mountains 
to  Gettysburg,  while  Early  was  hastening  back 
from  York  to  join  Ewell,  and  the  latter  was  leading 
his  corps  from  Carlisle  to  the  general  rendezvous, 
General  Meade  was  pushing  his  entire  army  in  a 
direction  almost  perpendicular  to  the  Confederate 
line  of  march.  Each  general,  while  manoeuvring 
with  boldness  and  energy,  was  determined,  when 
the  time  for  actual  battle  should  come,  to  accept 
only  a  tactical  defensive  attitude.  Lee  had  given 
a  positive  promise  to  his  corps  commanders  that 
he  would  not  attack  the  Army  of  the  Potomac,  nor 
accept  its  gage  of  battle  unless  under  favorable 

on  Conduct 
of  the  War, 


Vol.  L, 
p.  439. 


chap.  ix.  conditions.  General  Meade,  after  his  victory, 
frankly  stated  that  it  was   his   desire  to  receive 

Report  •' 

on  conduct  ^e  attack  of  the  enemy  and  fight  a  defensive 
rather  than  an  offensive  battle,  being  satisfied  that 
snch  a  course  offered  the  better  chance  of  success. 
But,  in  spite  of  these  prudent  intentions  upon  both 
sides,  these  two  formidable  armies  were  approach- 
ing each  other  at  their  utmost  speed  all  through 
the  day  of  the  30th  of  June,  driven  by  the  irre- 
sistible laws  of  human  action — or,  let  us  reverently 
say,  by  the  hand  of  Providence  —  as  unconscious 
of  their  point  of  meeting  as  two  great  thunder- 
clouds, big  with  incalculable  lightnings,  lashed 
across  the  skies  by  tempestuous  winds. 

On  the  evening  of  the  30th,  Meade's  army,  still 
kept  well  in  hand,  had  advanced  until  his  left  wing, 
the  First  Corps,  had  crossed  the  Pennsylvania  line, 
resting  at  Marsh  Creek  a  few  miles  south  of  Gettys- 
burg; the  extreme  right,  the  Sixth  Corps,  was  at 
Manchester  in  Maryland,  over  thirty  miles  away ; 
the  Eleventh  Corps  was  at  Emmitsburg,  where  the 
Third  arrived  in  the  night,  the  Second  at  Union- 
town,  the  Fifth  at  Union  Mills,  and  the  Twelfth  at 

General  Meade  was  by  this  time  convinced  that 
the  enemy  was  aware  of  his  movement;  that  he 
had  loosed  his  hold  upon  the  Susquehanna;  and  was 
drawing  in  all  his  detachments  to  the  main  body 
for  a  movement  in  force  upon  some  other  point; 
he  did  not  know  precisely  when  or  where  the  blow 
would  fall,  but  he  determined  that  if  possible  he 
would  receive  the  onslaught  of  the  enemy  on 
ground  chosen  by  himself,  where  he  might  fight  a 
defensive  battle  with  every  attainable  advantage. 


Meade  therefore  sent  out  to  all  his  corps  commanders  chap,  dl 
on  the  night  of  the  30th  of  June  [after  midnight,  for 
the  order  is  dated  on  the  1st  of  July],  a  circular  in- 
forming them  that  Harrisburg  was  relieved,  and 
that  the  prospect  of  an  invasion  of  Pennsylvania 
beyond  the  Susquehanna  was  at  an  end ;  he  accord- 
ingly announced  his  intention  to  withdraw  the  army 
from  its  present  position,  and  to  form  a  line  of 
battle  with  the  left  resting  in  the  neighborhood  of 
Middleburg  and  the  right  at  Manchester,  the  gen- 
eral direction  being  along  Pipe  Creek.  He  followed 
this  with  specific  directions  as  to  the  course  to  be 
taken  by  each  one  of  the  corps.  This  choice  of 
Pipe  Creek  as  a  line  for  defensive  battle  had  been 
made  after  careful  surveys  by  members  of  the  en- 
gineer corps.  The  army  was  in  such  position  on 
the  morning  of  the  1st  that  this  concentration  could  July,  ras. 
have  been  easily  and  rapidly  made.  The  objection 
to  it  was  obvious ;  the  soldiers  who  were  marching 
towards  the  enemy  in  high  spirits  and  eager  to 
meet  him,  could  not  but  suffer  a  certain  loss  of 
morale  in  this  sudden  change  to  a  retrograde  move- 
ment ;  but  the  advantages  of  the  line  he  had  selected 
were,  in  the  general's  opinion,  a  sufficient  com- 

The  wisdom  of  this  purpose  of  General  Meade's 
will  doubtless  be  a  subject  of  curious  discussion 
among  military  men  for  many  years  to  come.  If 
the  order  had  been  given  a  few  hours  earlier,  or 
if  the  army  of  Lee,  marching  through  the  defiles  of 
the  mountain,  had  been  more  expeditious,  the 
waters  of  the  peaceful  rivulet,  which  Meade  had 
selected  for  his  line  of  battle,  would  have  reflected 
that  evening  the  blaze  of  thousands  of  camp-fires, 


chap.  ix.  and  the  hills  upon  its  border  would  have  been  lifted 
with  the  dawn  of  the  next  day  into  the  most 
luminous  blaze  of  fame.  But  this  baleful  glory 
was  not  reserved  for  Pipe  Creek.  The  little  town 
of  Gettysburg,  which,  while  that  order  of  Meade's 
was  written,  lay  sleeping  in  quiet  obscurity  among 
the  hills  of  Pennsylvania,  was  destined  to  the  ter- 
rors and  the  honors  of  the  greatest  battlefield  of 
the  New  World. 

Thus  while  Meade  was  sending  his  advance 
to  occupy  Gettysburg,  it  was  with  no  thought  of 
fighting  there;  it  seemed  to  him  merely  a  point  from 
which  to  observe  and  occupy  the  enemy's  advance 
and  to  mask  his  own  movement  to  what  seemed  to 
him  a  better  line  in  the  rear.  To  Lee,  although  he  did 
not  expect  to  find  his  enemy  there,  the  place  was 
of  far  more  importance.  It  was  not  only  almost 
equidistant  from  Chambersburg,  Carlisle,  and  York, 
and  for  that  reason  the  most  convenient  point  for 
the  concentration  of  his  scattered  army,  but  it  was 
the  center  of  all  the  important  roads  of  the  region, 
which  radiated  from  it  on  every  side  like  the  spokes 
from  a  hub.  The  possession  of  it  was  necessary  to 
give  him  freedom  of  decision  and  of  action  in 
advancing  to  the  East,  or  retreating  to  the  West 
or  South. 

Gettysburg  lies  in  a  peaceful  pastoral  region,  the 
county-seat  of  Adams  County.  Ten  miles  on  the 
west  the  blue  wall  of  the  South  Mountain  range 
closes  the  view,  while  the  entire  landscape  is  wrinkled 
by  parallel  lines  of  lower  ranges  of  hills.  A  little 
more  than  a  mile  west  of  the  town  two  of  these 
ridges  are  separated  by  a  fertile  valley,  through 
which  a  brook  meanders  called  Willoughby's  Eun. 


It  is  crossed  by  the  diverging  lines  of  the  Cham-  chap.  ix. 
bersburg  and  Hagerstown  roads,  the  former  inclin- 
ing to  the  north,  the  latter  to  the  south.  The 
range  of  wooded  hills  between  the  brook  and  the 
town,  running  almost  unbroken  for  several  miles 
north  and  south,  is  called  Oak  Hill  to  the  north  of 
these  roads,  and  Seminary  Ridge  to  the  south,  the  lat- 
ter name  being  given  from  a  Lutheran  seminary 
which  occupies  a  gentle  acclivity  between  the  roads 
not  far  from  the  point  where  they  meet  and  enter 
the  town.  Due  south  of  Gettysburg,  on  a  hill  between 
the  Baltimore  and  Taneytown  roads,  is  a  cemetery 
where  the  forefathers  of  the  hamlet  sleep ;  the  range 
begins  in  a  rocky  cliff  called  Culp's  Hill,  which 
rising  above  the  winding  stream  of  Rock  Creek,  east 
of  the  town,  runs  north  and  west,  presenting  a  bold 
front  to  the  town  for  a  thousand  yards,  and  is  pro- 
longed in  a  southerly  direction  for  about  three  miles, 
ending  abruptly  in  a  bold  conical  rock,  called  Round 
Top,  which  dominates  the  country  for  leagues 
around ;  on  the  northern  slope  of  this  tower-like 
hill  is  a  smaller  spur  of  the  same  character  called 
Little  Round  Top.  The  range  runs  parallel  to 
Seminary  Ridge,  which  lies  a  mile  and  a  half  to  the 
west ;  between  them  is  a  highly  cultivated  valley 
filled  with  grain-fields  and  orchards,  dotted  with 
thrifty  Pennsylvanian  farm-houses  and  barns.  In 
the  midst  of  this  valley  there  is  a  lower  intermedi- 
ate ridge,  along  which  runs  the  road  to  Emmits- 
burg.  No  soldier  could  look  at  this  range  of  hills 
without  recognizing  its  remarkable  advantages  for 
a  great  defensive  battle;  it  was  a  cyclopean fortress, 
framed  for  its  purpose  before  the  birth  of  mam 
At  its  northern  extremity,  the  curve  to  the  east  and 


chap.  ix.  south,  crowned  by  the  salient  of  Culp's  Hill,  guarded 
that  flank ;  the  Round  Tops  formed  a  redoubtable 
bastion  on  the  south,  and  between  them  the  hill 
was  battlemented  with  a  chaos  of  boulders. 
The  Taneytown  road  wound  just  below  the  crest, 
and  the  Baltimore  road,  at  the  foot  of  the  eastern 
slope,  afforded  a  perfect  service  of  transportation 
for  the  defense ;  and  in  front,  the  gentle  slope  and 
the  cultivated  fields  furnished,  as  Hooker  would 
have  said,  "  elbow-room "  for  fighting,  such  as 
neither  army  had  as  yet  ever  beheld. 

Of  course  not  all  these  advantages  could  be  at 
once  perceived  by  a  cavalier  riding  by  in  the  dust  of 
a  column  on  the  march.  But  enough  was  seen  to  in- 
spire to  heroic  effort,  and  nerve  to  heroic  death, 
the  peerless  soldier  who  dashed  up  the  Emmits- 
burg  road  in  hot  haste  on  the  morning  of  the 
1863.  first  of  July.  General  John  F.  Reynolds  —  the 
noblest  sacrifice  offered  up  on  that  ensanguined 
field  —  was  in  command  of  the  First,  Third,  and 
Eleventh  Corps,  the  left  grand  division  of  Meade's 
army.  He  had  been  ordered  to  Gettysburg  to  ob- 
serve the  enemy  and  to  mask  the  retrograde  move- 
ment to  Pipe  Creek.  His  advance,  the  First  Corps, 
was  four  miles  south  of  there ;  the  others  at  Em- 
mitsburg  and  Taneytown,  twice  and  three  times 
as  far.  They  all  had  their  orders  for  the  move- 
ment to  the  right  and  rear.  But  hearing  from 
Buford  early  in  the  morning  that  the  enemy  was 
in  his  front  in  considerable  force,  Reynolds  ordered 
the  First  Corps  forward  with  all  possible  speed,  sent 
for  the  other  two  to  join  him,  and  rode  ahead  with 
his  own  pickets,  impelled  not  only  by  his  soldierly 
spirit,  but  also  by  the   feelings    of    a    patriotic 


Pennsylvanian  repelling  an  invasion  of  his  native    chap.  ix. 

Arriving  at  the  seminary,  west  of  the  town,  he  July  1,  lsea. 
met  G-eneral  Buford,  and  was  immediately  in- 
formed of  the  situation  of  affairs.  Buford  had 
taken  possession  of  Gettysburg  the  day  before, 
throwing  his  pickets  well  out  along  the  Chambers- 
burg  road.  There  they  had  encountered  the  ad- 
vance of  Petti grew's  brigade  of  Heth's  division  and 
Hill's  corps;  Pettigrew,  not  suspecting  the  pres- 
ence of  an  enemy,  was  coming  into  Gettysburg 
with  the  prosaic  purpose  of  plundering  the  shoe- 
stores,  the  foot-gear  of  his  men  having  gone  to 
pieces  in  the  sharp  marching  of  the  last  fortnight ; 
meeting  Buford,  he  retired,  without  making  any 
resistance,  to  Cashtown.  Buford,  knowing  that 
this  respite  was  only  momentary,  prepared  to  with- 
stand the  advance  which  was  sure  to  come,  and 
did  come  the  next  morning.  Alone,  with  his  two 
brigades  of  cavalry,  he  valiantly  held  the  line  of 
Willoughby's  Run,  until  Reynolds  came  to  the 
rescue  with  Wadsworth's  division,  the  rest  of  the 
First  Corps  under  General  Doubleday,  who  gal- 
loped on  in  front  of  his  own  advance,  coming  up 
soon  afterwards.  Reynolds  found  Buford  anx- 
iously surveying  the  field  from  the  belfry  of  the 
Lutheran  seminary,  and  only  a  moment's  confer- 
ence between  these  two  thorough  soldiers  was 
needed  to  determine  the  morning's  work.  The 
enemy  was  there.  The  place  for  the  great  battle 
was  just  behind  them ;  their  duty  was  to  hold 
back  the  oncoming  wave  of  Lee's  forces  until 
Meade  could  concentrate  the  Army  of  the  Potomac 
to  meet  it.    In  a  case  so  clear,  the  letter  of  his 


chap.  ix.  orders  mattered  little  to  a  man  like  Reynolds.  His 
duty  was  under  his  eyes,  clearer  and  more  sacred 
than  anything  written  upon  paper  could  be.  He 
was  the  lifelong  friend  and  comrade  of  Meade; 
they  had  commanded  brigades  together  in  Me- 
Call's  division,  and  had  risen  step  by  step  to  be 
first  and  second  in  command  of  the  Army  of  the 
Potomac;  he  felt  sure  Meade  would  approve  his 
action,  and  resolved  to  make  his  fight  there.  He 
was  as  ready  to  sacrifice  his  life  as  his  orders. 

The  enemy  were  approaching  in  great  force  on 
the  western  side  of  Willoughby's  Run,  consisting 
of  Heth's  division  of  four  brigades,  and  Reynolds 
at  once  made  his  preparations  to  meet  them. 
There  was  a  bit  of  woods  just  east  of  Willoughby's 
Run  midway  between  the  two  roads,  and  both  sides 
rushed  to  seize  it.  Reynolds  had  just  sent  an  order 
toDoubleday,  "Hold  on  to  theHagerstown  road,  and 
I  will  take  care  of  this  one  "  —  the  Chambersburg 
road,  on  which  he  had  posted  Cutler's  brigade ;  he 
was  watching  Solomon  Meredith's  "  Iron  brigade  " 
enter  the  woods  on  one  side  and  James  J.  Archer's 
Confederates  going  in  on  the  other  when  he  was 

juiy  i,  1863.  shot  dead  by  a  bullet  through  the  brain.  Double- 
day,  who  had  been  placed  temporarily  in  command 
of  the  First  Corps,  now  took  charge  of  the  field,  and 
the  fighting  began  in  earnest.  At  first  it  was  favor- 
able to  the  Union  arms.  Wadsworth  on  the  right 
captured  Archer  and  a  considerable  portion  of  his 
brigade.  On  the  left  the  attacking  force  was 
caught  in  a  railroad  cut  beside  the  Chambersburg 
road,  and  a  large  number  were  killed  and  taken. 
Wadsworth's  division  held  the  field  until  about 
eleven  o'clock,  when  the  rest  of  the  First  Corps 




POSITIONS  AT  3 :  30  AND  ABOUT  4  P.  M.  JULY  1 

Vol.  VIL— 16 


chap.  ix.  came  up  with  a  good  supply  of  artillery.  The  Con- 
federates, largely  reenforced,  were  still  pressing 
them  severely  when  General  Howard  arrived  with 
the  Eleventh  Corps  and,  by  virtue  of  his  rank, 
assumed  direction  of  the  engagement,  Major-Gen- 
eral  Schurz  commanding  the  Eleventh  Corps,  and 
Doubleday  remaining  in  command  of  the  First. 

Howard  immediately  deployed  his  entire  force 
to  the  west  and  north  of  the  town,  his  left  as- 
sisting Doubleday  to  hold  the  two  roads  on  the 
west  and  his  right  preparing  to  meet  the  attack  of 
Ewell,  who  was  now  in  sight  on  the  Carlisle  road. 
But  his  line  was  too  extended ;  he  attempted  to 
cover  too  much ;  while  the  Eleventh  Corps  was 
hotly  engaged  along  its  entire  front,  Early  came 
up  on  the  right  and  attacked  with  a  vigor  there 
was  no  resisting;  the  gallant  General  Francis  C. 
Barlow  fell  severely  wounded,  his  division,  which 
held  the  right,  gave  way ;  the  damage  could  not  be 
repaired,  as  the  enemy  had  the  superiority  both  of 
position  and  of  numbers.  Howard's  troops  were 
driven  into  Gettysburg,  and  the  First  Corps,  thus 
left  unsupported,  were  compelled  to  retire  also, 
which  they  did  slowly  and  with  unbroken  spirit; 
the  enemy  took  advantage  of  the  confusion  of  the 
retreat  through  the  town,  and,  pressing  closely  upon 
the  disordered  Union  right,  they  did  great  damage 
and  made  large  captures.  Before  this,  however, 
General  Howard  had  occupied  the  hill  on  which  the 
cemetery  stood  with  Steinwehr's  division,  and  as 
the  retreating  troops  poured  eastward  from  the 
town  on  the  Baltimore  and  Taneytown  roads,  they 
were  at  once  taken  in  charge  and  posted  in  advan- 
tageous positions :  the  First  Corps  was  placed  on 


the  left,  and  the  Eleventh  on  the  right.  Between  chap,  ix, 
half-past  three  and  four  o'clock,1  while  order  was 
rapidly  being  established  among  these  broken 
corps,  General  Hancock  arrived  on  the  field  and, 
by  Meade's  orders,  assumed  command.  His  pres- 
ence immediately  exerted  a  remarkable  calming 
and  encouraging  effect.  All  accounts  agree  as  to 
the  extraordinary  influence  wielded  by  Hancock 
upon  the  battlefield,  an  influence  not  wholly 
attributable  to  prestige  or  to  great  intellectual 
power.  The  vague  phrase  "  personal  magnetism  n 
is  the  one  most  frequently  chosen  by  observers  to 
express  it.  He  was  then  in  the  flower  of  his  youth, 
a  man  of  singularly  handsome  presence,  tall  and 
stalwart,  with  the  eye  and  profile  of  an  eagle,  a 
strong  voice,  and  a  manner  expressive  throughout 
of  soldierly  resolution  and  ardor.  His  arrival 
alone,  at  that  critical  moment,  was  like  the  rein- 
forcement of  an  army  corps. 

It  was  a  happy  thought  of  General  Meade  to 
send  Hancock  forward  in  advance  of  his  corps.  As 
late  as  noon  on  the  1st,  Meade  had  no  thought  of  a  juiy,  i863. 
great  battle  beginning  that  day.  He  wrote  to  Hal- 
leck  at  twelve  o'clock,  "  the  news  proves  my  advance 
has  answered  its  purpose.  I  shall  not  advance  any, 
but  prepare  to  receive  an  attack,  in  case  Lee  makes 
one.  A  battlefield  is  being  selected  to  the  rear,  on 
which  the  army  can  be  rapidly  concentrated,  on 
Pipe  Creek,  between  Middleburg  and  Manchester, 
covering  my  depot  at  Westminster.  If  I  am  not 
attacked,  and  I  can  from  reliable  intelligence  have 
reason  to  believe  I  can  attack  with  reasonable 
degree  of  success,  I  will  do  so ;  but  at  present,  hav- 

1  Hancock  says  3:30;  Howard  says  4  or  4 :  30. 



Chap.  IX. 

Meade  to 


July  1,  1863. 

W.  R. 



Part  I., 

pp.  70,  71. 

W.  R. 



Part  I., 

p.  72. 

ing  relieved  the  pressure  on  the  Susquehanna,  I 
am  now  looking  to  the  protection  of  Washington  and 
fighting  my  army  to  the  best  advantage."  But  an 
hour  later  he  added  to  this  dispatch :  "  The  enemy 
are  advancing  in  force  on  Gettysburg,  and  I  expect 
the  battle  will  begin  to-day."  The  battle  had,  as 
we  have  seen,  already  begun,  Eeynolds  had  made 
the  precious  sacrifice  of  his  own  life,  and  General 
Howard  had  sent  back  to  headquarters  an  impres- 
sive account  of  the  evil  course  of  affairs  and  an 
urgent  request  for  immediate  assistance.  General 
Meade's  action  upon  this  intelligence  was  prompt 
and  decided ;  he  did  not  for  an  instant  hesitate  as 
to  the  course  he  should  pursue ;  he  had  been  but 
three  days  in  command  of  his  army,  yet  in  the 
midst  of  these  trying  circumstances  he  rose  readily 
to  the  full  height  of  his  responsibility.  His  own 
orders  issued  that  morning  for  the  withdrawal  to 
the  chosen  line  of  battle  in  the  rear  became  at  once 
as  obsolete,  in  his  own  mind,  as  if  they  had  been 
issued  by  Julius  Caesar ;  he  instantly  sent  Hancock 
to  the  front,  and  at  six  o'clock  in  the  afternoon, 
before  receiving  the  reports  from  his  lieutenants  at 
Gettysburg,  he  telegraphed  to  Washington  that 
his  whole  army  was  in  motion  towards  that  place ; 
that  although  he  was  not  certain  of  the  exact  posi- 
tion of  all  the  enemy's  force  he  hoped  to  defeat 
Hill  and  Ewell  if  Longstreet  should  not  have  joined 
them  the  next  day,  and  that  at  all  events  he  saw  no 
other  course  than  to  hazard  a  general  battle. 

Hancock  occupied  the  northern  crotchet  of  the 
cemetery  range  with  what  troops  were  available; 
Wadsworth's  division  was  placed  on  the  extreme 
right  at  Culp's  Hill,  the  Eleventh  Corps  guarding 


the  heights  in  front  of  Gettysburg  and  the  Second  chap.  ix. 
Corps  extending  as  far  as  it  would  reach  to  the  left, 
where  it  was  supported  by  Sickles's  dusty  and 
travel-stained  veterans,  who  had  come  in  haste  from 
Emmitsburg.  He  then  gave  up  the  command  to 
Slocum,  who  had  just  arrived,  and  who  ranked  every 
one  present,  and  mounting  his  horse  galloped  back 
to  Meade  at  Taneytown,  prepared  to  urge  in  the 
strongest  possible  language  the  advantages  of 
Gettysburg  as  the  field  for  battle.  But  he  found 
that  no  such  persuasion  was  necessary  and  that 
Meade  had  already  resolved  to  accept  the  field 
which  the  ordainment  of  events  presented  to 
him.  The  whole  army,  inspired  by  the  same 
martial  impulse,  was  marching  to  the  scene  of 
conflict  with  or  without  orders.  Sickles  was  at 
Emmitsburg  when  he  received  the  dispatch  from 
Howard  informing  him  of  the  desperate  contest  in 
which  the  advance  was  engaged.  His  position  was 
such  as  to  give  him  the  keenest  anxiety ;  he  had 
been  on  his  march  to  Gettysburg  when  he  received 
the  order  withdrawing  the  army  to  Pipe  Creek,  and 
while  preparing  to  obey  that  summons  there  came 
this  new  and  pressing  appeal  from  Howard.  Meade 
was  ten  miles  away ;  Sickles  resolved  to  waste  not 
another  minute  in  asking  more  definite  instruc-  Testimony, 
tions.  but  forced  his  column  of  wearied,  and  many  committee 

p     -i  i  c  i  •■  t  i      •  -i    on  Conduct 

of  them  barefooted,  soldiers  at  their  utmost  speed  of  the  war. 

7  r  Part  I., 

to  Gettysburg.    He  arrived  there  while  Hancock      p-  296- 
was  making  his  hurried  preparations  for  the  defense  juiy  1,  i863. 
of  the  hill,  and  by  his  orders  the  Third  Corps  was 
posted  on  the  left  of  the  ridge.  All  night,  by  every 
road,  the  troops  came  streaming  in ;  part  of  the 
Third  Corps  and  all  of  the  Twelfth  had  arrived 


chap.  ix.  before  nightfall,  and  from  sunset  till  morning  the 
rest  were  marching  to  their  places  under  the  light 
of  the  full  moon.  Meade  himself  came  upon  the 
juiy  2, 1863.  field  at  one  o'clock  in  the  morning,  a  pale,  tired- 
looking,  hollow-eyed  man,  worn  with  toil  and  lack 
of  sleep,  with  little  of  the  appearance  of  a  con- 
ventional hero  about  him,  but  stout  in  heart  and 
clear  in  mind. 

General  Lee  had  arrived  upon  the  battlefield  on 
the  afternoon  of  the  1st  in  time  to  witness  the  final 
success  of  his  troops.  He  ascended  a  commanding 
point  upon  Seminary  Ridge  and  carefully  studied 
the  position  assumed  by  the  Army  of  the  Potomac. 
Its  strength  was  at  once  apparent  to  him,  and  he 
was  evidently  impressed  by  the  steady  attitude  of 
the  Union  troops,  and  concluded  not  to  order  a  gen- 
eral attack  that  evening.  He  sent  a  suggestion  to 
General  Ewell  to  carry  Cemetery  Hill,  if  he  thought 
such  a  movement  was  practicable,  but  he  was 
warned  against  bringing  on  a  general  engagement 
until  the  arrival  of  the  rest  of  his  force.  Ewell 
took  advantage  of  the  discretion  allowed  him  and 
awaited  the  arrival  of  General  Edward  Johnson, 
so  that  all  the  latter  part  of  the  afternoon  was  left 
to  Howard  and  Hancock,  and  after  them  to  Slocum, 
to  make  their  preparations  for  the  coming  conflict 

This  was  undoubtedly  one  of  the  most  serious 
errors  committed  by  General  Lee  in  his  cam- 
paign; his  force  was  at  the  moment  superior  to 
that  of  the  Federals;  they  were,  besides,  flushed 
with  a  great  success  which  had  been  easily  won, 
and  his  chances  of  carrying  Cemetery  Hill  were 
greater  at  four  o'clock  on  Wednesday  than  at  any 



time  afterwards ;  but,  so  far  as  can  be  judged  from  his 
excessively  brief  and  dry  report  of  this  campaign, 
it  is  altogether  probable  that  up  to  that  moment 
Lee  had  not  made  up  his  mind  to  attack  the  Army 
of  the  Potomac  at  all.  He  himself  says :  "  It  had 
not  been  intended  to  fight  a  general  battle  at  such 
a  distance  from  our  base  unless  attacked  by  the 
enemy";  and  the  only  reason  he  gives  for  follow- 
ing up  the  good  fortune  of  the  1st  of  July  was  the 
difficulty  of  withdrawing  his  large  trains  through 
the  mountains.  The  reason  was  not  a  valid  one, 
as  was  shown  by  the  ease  with  which  he  withdrew 
his  trains  after  his  defeat;  the  simple  truth  was, 
he  imagined  he  saw  a  great  victory  in  his  grasp, 
and  the  mighty  temptation  was  too  much  for  his 
usual  calm  judgment.  He  was  not  forced  by  any 
purely  military  reason  to  attack  the  army  posted  on 
Cemetery  Hill.  It  was  entirely  in  his  power,  follow- 
ing the  advice  of  Longstreet,  the  ablest  general  in 
his  army,  to  move  by  the  right  flank  upon  the 
Emmitsburg  road,  and  marching  upon  Frederick 
to  manoeuvre  Meade  out  of  his  position.  This 
move  would  certainly  have  succeeded ;  for  General 
Meade,  so  late  as  three  o'clock  on  the  2d,  tele- 
graphed to  Halleck:  "If  I  find  it  hazardous  to 
[attack]  or  am  satisfied  the  enemy  is  endeavoring 
to  move  to  my  rear  and  interpose  between  me  and 
Washington,  I  shall  fall  back  to  my  supplies  at 
Westminster."  It  is,  perhaps,  too  much  to  expect 
of  any  general,  in  the  position  in  which  Lee  found 
himself,  after  a  partial  victory  on  the  1st,  to  follow 
such  prudent  counsel.  The  appetite  whetted  by 
the  taste  of  blood  demanded  more  immediate  grati- 
fication. A  victory  at  Gettysburg  offered  so  splendid 

Chap.  IX. 




July  31, 

1863.    W.R. 



Part  II., 

p.  308. 

July,  1863. 




Part  I., 

p.  72. 



Chap.  IX. 




Part  II., 

a  vista  of  both  use  and  glory  that  he  was  willing  to 
stake  everything  upon  it.  "  In  view  of  the  valu- 
able results,"  he  says,  "  that  would  ensue  from  the 
defeat  of  the  army  of  General  Meade  it  was  thought 
advisable  to  renew  the  attack." 

It  was  General  Meade's  intention  to  forestall  the 
attack  of  his  adversary  by  assaulting  the  Confeder- 
ate lines  at  an  early  hour  in  the  morning.  He  or- 
dered Slocum  to  prepare  with  his  own  corps  and  the 
Fifth  to  make  a  vigorous  attack  upon  Ewell  near 
the  extreme  left  of  his  line;  but  General  Slocum 
and  General  Warren,  Chief  of  Engineers,  having 
reconnoitered  the  position  and  having  reported 
against  an  attack,  General  Meade  abandoned 
that  intention  and  concluded  to  wait  for  the  arrival 
of  the  Sixth  Corps,  and  then  to  move  the  Fifth 
to  the  left,  and  if  the  enemy  still  delayed  action  to 
attack  the  Confederate  right.1 
juiy,  1863.  On  the  morning  of  the  2d  Meade  disposed  his 
host  in  the  following  order:  The  Twelfth  Corps, 

1  There  is  a  voluminous  and 
painful  controversy  on  record 
between  General  Meade  and  Gen- 
eral Butterfield,  his  chief -of -staff 
at  Gettysburg.  General  Butter- 
field  asserts  with  the  utmost  posi- 
tiveness  that  Meade  intended  to 
retreat  on  the  2d  of  July,  and  that 
he,  as  chief-of-staff,  had  made 
out  a  programme  for  the  with- 
drawal of  the  troops  from  Gettys- 
burg, in  accordance  with  Meade's 
orders.  General  Meade,  with  the 
greatest  solemnity  and  definite- 
ness,  contradicts  this  statement. 
The  issue  of  veracity  seems  to  us 
only  apparent.  Both  officers  were 
able,  earnest,  and  brave  soldiers. 
General     Meade     probably    re- 

quested General  Butterfield,  in 
view  of  the  doubtful  results  of  the 
battle  which  was  imminent,  to  be 
prepared  with  a  plan  of  orderly 
retreat,  in  case  the  battle  went 
against  him,  and  General  Butter- 
field doubtless  assumed  that  this 
order  was  given  by  General 
Meade,  in  expectation  of  a  re- 
treat. Those  officers  of  the  army 
who  have  taken  part  in  this  con- 
troversy are  divided,  according 
to  their  respective  intimate  rela- 
tions with  General  Hooker  and 
General  Meade.  It  is  probable 
that  disinterested  students  of  the 
history  of  those  days  will  prefer 
to  take  neither  side  of  the  dis- 


under  Slocum,  held  the  extreme  right  on  Gulp's  chap.  ix. 
Hill,  and  Howard,  with  the  Eleventh,  still  held  the 
Cemetery,  Wadsworth's  division  being  placed  be-  Juiy2,i863. 
tween  them ;  the  crest  of  the  Cemetery  Ridge  was 
occupied  by  the  Second  Corps,  under  Hancock, 
with  Sickles  commanding  the  Third  Corps  on 
his  left;  the  Fifth  Corps  formed  the  reserve  on 
the  right;  the  Sixth,  which,  under  Sedgwick, 
was  marching  in  all  haste  to  the  field,  did  not 
arrive  till  afternoon.  About  a  mile  distant  from 
the  Union  lines  Lee's  army  swept  in  a  wide 
curve  from  Benner's  Hill,  on  the  east  of  Gettys- 
burg, to  the  high  ground  in  front  of  the  Round 
Tops;  Ewell  held  the  Confederate  left,  Hill  the 
center,  and  Longstreet's  troops,  which  were  last  to 
arrive,  were  posted  on  the  extreme  right. 

It  was  intended  by  General  Meade  that  Sickles 
should  prolong  the  line  of  Hancock  to  the  left. 
Orders  to  this  effect  were  given  in  general  terms 
and  without  any  inspection  of  the  ground ;  so  that 
when  Sickles  came  on  the  morning  of  the  2d  to 
establish  his  line  of  battle  he  found  himself  in 
low  and,  to  his  eye,  untenable  ground,  which  was 
commanded  by  the  Emmitsburg  road  running 
along  the  ridge  some  three-quarters  of  a  mile 
in  his  front,  the  ground  between  being  much 
broken  and  furnishing  cover  at  every  point  for 
an  enemy's  advance.  He  represented  these  facts 
to  Meade  and  asked  for  more  definite  orders, 
which  Meade  at  the  time  was  too  busy  to  give 
him,  but  sent  General  Henry  J.  Hunt,  his  chief 
of  artillery,  to  look  at  the  ground.  General  Hunt 
agreed  with  General  Sickles  that  he  would  better 
his  position  by  advancing  his  line  towards  the 


dhap.  ix.  Emmitsburg  road,1  which  he  at  once  proceeded 
to  do.  He  advanced  his  two  divisions  to  the 
higher  ground  in  front  of  him,  placing  Greneral 
Humphreys  to  the  right  and  Birney  to  the  left,  the 
lines  of  the  two  divisions  forming  an  angle  at  a 
point  near  the  Emmitsburg  road  called  the  Peach 
Orchard,  Humphreys's  right  being  a  considerable 
distance  in  front  of  Hancock's  left,  and  Birney's  left 
resting  at  the  base  of  Little  Eound  Top.  It  was  a 
dangerous  position,  and  entirely  untenable  if  the 
Third  Corps  were  to  be  left  to  itself,  but  with  the 
assistance  of  reinforcements  from  the  Fifth  Corps 
on  the  left  and  from  Hancock  on  the  right  General 
Sickles  thought  it  could  be  held.2  After  the  troops 
were  in  position  General  Meade  came  upon  the 
ground,  rather  tardily,  and  as  soon  as  he  saw  the 
state  of  affairs  he  disapproved  the  action  of  General 
Sickles.  But  it  was  then  too  late  to  change  the 
disposition  which  had  been  made,  for  even  while 
the  two  generals  were  discussing  the  matter  the 
enemy's  artillery  opened  from  the  woods  near  the 
Peach  Orchard,  and  a  furious  assault  began  from 
Hood's  division  upon  the  refused  line  of  Sickles's 
corps  running  from  the  Peach  Orchard  to  Round 

1  General  Sickles  made  this  report  shows  that  he  attached 
statement  in  his  evidence  before  high  value  to  the  possession  of 
the  Committee  on  the  Conduct  of  the  ridge  which  General  Sickles 
the  War. — Report,  1865,  Vol.  I.,  thought  it  necessary  to  occupy, 
p.  298.  General  Hunt  says  that  "  In  front  of  General  Longstreet 
while  he  considered  the  position  the  enemy  held  a  position  from 
a  good  line  to  occupy,  in  itself,  which,  if  he  could  be  driven,  it 
he  declined  advisingpositively,on  was  thought  our  artillery  could 
the  ground  that  he  did  not  know  be  used  to  advantage  in  assailing 
General  Meade's  intentions  for  the  more  elevated  ground  be- 
the  whole  field. —  See  also  ' '  Bat-  yond,  and  thus  enable  us  to  reach 
ties  andLeaders."  Vol. III.,p. 302.  the  crest  of  the  ridge."—  W.  R. 

2  A  passage  from  General  Lee's  Vol.  XXVII.,  Part  II.,  p.  308. 


It  had  been  General  Lee's  intention  that  Long-  chap.  ix. 
street,  with  what  force  he  could  get  together,  should 
attack  at  an  early  hour  of  the  morning ;  but  Long- 
street,  inspired  by  wiser  counsels  than  those  of  his 
chief,  saw  more  clearly  than  Lee  all  the  difficulties 
of  the  enterprise,  and  spent  a  part  of  the  morning 
in  trying  to  persuade  him  to  adopt  the  better  plan 
of  manoeuvring  by  the  right  flank.  Failing  to 
convince  him,  he  still  pleaded  for  time,  that  the 
rest  of  his  corps  might  join  him  before  the  attack. 
The  second  division,  under  McLaws,  arrived  in  the 
middle  of  the  day;  he  would  gladly  have  waited  July 2,1863. 
until  the  third,  under  Pickett,  should  have  joined 
him  also;  but  Lee,  after  a  careful  personal  recon- 
naissance of  the  position  occupied  by  the  National 
left,  at  last  gave  Longstreet  a  positive  order  to 
attack  upon  that  flank.  It  was  after  four  o'clock 
when  Hood's  division  was  thrown  with  the  greatest 
violence  upon  the  refused  line  of  General  Sickles. 

A  desperate  and  sanguinary  conflict  raged  along 
that  line.  For  nearly  two  hours  Birney's  division 
bore  the  brunt  of  the  fight ;  they  received  and  in- 
flicted great  damage,  both  armies  fighting  with 
equal  and  desperate  courage.  General  Sickles  was 
borne  from  the  field,  his  leg  having  been  shot 
away,  shortly  after  six  o'clock,  and  Birney  suc- 
ceeded, temporarily,  to  the  command  of  the  corps. 
Meantime  McLaws  had  attacked  Humphreys  on 
the  Emmitsburg  road,  to  the  north  of  the  Peach 
Orchard,  and,  when  the  salient  angle  was  broken, 
Humphreys  was  finally  forced  to  retire  to  Cemetery 
Ridge.  He  accomplished  this  movement  coolly  and 
successfully ;  he  communicated  his  own  indomi- 
table spirit  to  his  men,  and  conducted  the  retreat, 






chap.  ix.  under  a  withering  fire,  so  slowly  and  steadily  that 
he  was  able  to  halt  what  was  left  of  his  division  in 
the  exact  place  assigned  them.  Reinforcements 
from  the  Second  Corps,  on  the  right,  and  from  the 
Fifth,  which  had  come  in  on  the  left,  protected  the 
withdrawal  of  the  troops  from  the  advanced  posi- 
tion and  repulsed  the  pursuing  enemy  with  great 

There  was  a  moment  in  the  afternoon  when  the 
safety  of  the  Union  line  was  seriously  compromised. 
The  important  position  of  Little  Eound  Top  was 
almost  entirely  undefended,  and  a  portion  of  Hood's 
division,  stealing  up  through  the  ravine  of  Plum 
Run,  had  almost  succeeded  in  capturing  it,  when 
their  advance  was  noticed  by  General  Warren, 
Chief  of  Engineers,  who  happened,  luckily,  to  be 
on  that  part  of  the  field  at  the  moment.  There  was 
no  one  on  the  hill  but  a  few  signal  officers,  who, 
seeing  the  enemy  approaching,  were  folding  their 
flags  to  leave  the  station.  Warren  commanded 
them  to  make  a  show  of  still  waving  their  flags,  and 
hurried  away  to  find  some  available  force ;  the  first 
troops  he  met  were  Barnes's  division  of  the  Fifth 
Corps  marching  to  reenforce  Sickles.  Warren, 
with  a  vehemence  which  could  not  be  denied,  seized 
upon  a  brigade  of  this  division,  commanded  by 
Colonel  Strong  Vincent,  which  he  hurried  to  the 
summit  of  the  hill,  while  Charles  E.  Hazlitt's  bat- 
tery, which  was  fortunately  in  the  neighborhood, 
was  pulled  and  dragged  with  all  haste  up  the  beet- 
ling crag. 

They  were  not  an  instant  too  soon ;  the  two  col- 
umns met  on  the  hill  top,  and  a  savage  hand-to-hand 
fight  ensued,  which  was  continued  and  kept  up  by 


reinforcements  on  either  side.  The  Confederates  cha*.  *x. 
were  at  last  driven  from  the  crest  down  the  precip- 
itous slope,  and  the  position,  and  with  it  the  safety 
of  the  Union  left,  was  secured.  This  was  done  at  a 
terrible  sacrifice.  General  Stephen  H.  Weed  was 
killed ;  Hazlitt,  stooping  to  receive  his  last  words, 
fell  dead  across  his  breast;  Vincent,  who  was  the 
first  to  reach  the  summit,  was  one  of  the  first  to 
fall ;  young  Colonel  Patrick  H.  O'Rorke,  just  begin- 
ning a  career  to  which  his  talents  and  his  scholarship 
gave  the  most  brilliant  promise,  was  shot  dead  at  the 
head  of  his  regiment,  the  One  Hundred  and  Fortieth 
New  York.  All  along  the  Union  left  wing  the 
slaughter  of  general  and  field  officers  was  very 
great;  besides  Sickles,  Charles  K.  Graham  was 
wounded  and  captured,  Samuel  K.  Zook  and 
Edward  E.  Cross  were  killed;  several  regiments 
lost  all  their  field  officers,  and  were  brought  to  the 
rear  by  captains.  But  the  final  successes  of  the 
field  were  with  the  Union  arms ;  the  last  charge  on 
the  left  was  made  by  General  Samuel  W.  Crawford, 
who  securely  held  the  ground  on  the  right  of  Little 
Eound  Top  ;  both  hills,  which  crowned  the  southern 
extremity  of  the  ridge,  were  strongly  garrisoned; 
Humphreys's  braves  had  the  satisfaction  of  advanc- 
ing in  the  twilight  and  re-taking  the  guns  they  had 
lost  in  their  retreat,  and  before  nightfall  the  whole 
line  from  Round  Top  to  Cemetery  Hill  was  firmly 

It  was  General  Lee's  desire  that  Ewell  should 
assault  the  north  side  of  Cemetery  Hill  while  the 
contest  on  the  Confederate  right  was  going  on,  and 
that  Hill  should  observe  the  Union  center  and 
take  advantage   of    any  opportunity    to    attack. 






VOL.VIL— 17 


chap.  ix.  Ewell,  attempting  to  carry  out  this  plan,  assaulted 
the  Eleventh  Corps  with  considerable  energy  and 
with  such  success  that  General  Howard  was  com- 
pelled to  call  upon  Hancock  for  assistance;  he 
sent  a  brigade  under  Colonel  Samuel  S.  Carroll, 
which  rapidly  drove  the  assaulting  force  from  the 
hill.  But  later  in  the  day,  when  the  extreme  right 
of  the  Federal  line  had  been  almost  disgarnished  by 
the  withdrawal  of  troops  to  reenforce  the  left,  Gen- 
eral Johnson,  commanding  the  old  Stonewall  divi- 
sion, made  an  energetic  attack  from  the  direction 
of  Rock  Creek  and  succeeded  in  occupying  the 
intrenchments  which  had  been  left  by  Geary's 
division.    He  held  this  important  point  all  night. 

After  the  day's  fighting  was  over  General  Meade 

called  a  council  of  war,  and  consulted  his  generals 

in  regard  to  the  question  of  fighting  the  battle  out 

where  they  stood,  or  of  taking  up  a  new  position ; 

there  was  only  one  voice  in  the  council:   every 

w.  r.      general  there  was  in  favor  of  deciding  the  contest 

xxvii.,     on  that  spot,  and  Meade  promptly  adopted  their 

p.  73/'     judgment  as  his  own. 

On  the  other  side  the  same  inevitable  decision 
was  reached.  Although  General  Lee  has  been 
much  criticized  for  continuing  the  battle  on  the 
third  day,  it  is  not  easy  to  see  how  he  could  have 
done  otherwise.  It  is  true,  he  had  not  accom- 
plished all  he  hoped  for  in  the  operations  of  the 
1863.  2d  of  July ;  but  his  partial  successes  were  such  as 
to  render  it  impossible  for  him  to  withdraw.  At 
the  cost  of  terrible  bloodshed  he  had  gained  the 
Emmitsburg  road  on  his  right  and  had  established 
himself  in  the  Federal  intrenchments  on  his  left ; 
his  center  had  hardly  been  engaged,  and  Pickett's 



strong  division  was  to  reenforce  him  during  the 
day.  His  army  was  in  fine  spirits ;  he  could  not, 
even  if  he  had  been  inclined,  resist  the  martial 
impulse  which  was  sweeping  them  on  to  what  they 
expected  would  prove  the  great  and  crowning 
victory  of  the  war.  The  only  thing  which  was 
there  to  trouble  hope  and  joy  was  the  grave  coun- 
tenance and  the  disapproving  words  of  his  ablest 
general;  but  he  put  aside  the  remonstrances  of 
Longstreet  with  his  lofty  good  humor,  and  ordered 
him  to  make  ready  to  assault  the  Federal  left 

The  morning  of  the  3d  of  July  brought  a  heavy 
responsibility  to  General  Meade,  which  he  accepted, 
if  not  with  the  high  hope  and  buoyancy  of  his  op- 
ponent, with  equal  coolness  and  resolution.  It  was 
not  in  his  power  to  await  the  enemy's  attack ;  the 
force  which  had  lodged  itself  upon  his  right  flank 
could  not  be  permitted  to  remain  there ;  it  was 
dangerously  near  the  Baltimore  road  and  must  be 
dislodged  at  any  risk  or  cost;  he  ordered  it  assaulted 
therefore  at  the  earliest  dawn.  He  was  not  at  all 
certain  of  the  issue  of  the  day,  but  he  prepared  for 
either  fate  with  prudence  and  courage.  In  the 
midst  of  the  roar  of  the  guns  which  were  opening 
upon  Johnson's  intruders  in  the  intrenchments  on 
Gulp's  Hill,  he  telegraphed  to  General  Wm.  H. 
French  at  Frederick  that,  in  case  the  enemy  should 
be  beaten  that  day  and  fall  back  towards  the  Poto- 
mac, he  wished  him  to  reoccupy  Harper's  Ferry  and 
to  do  all  he  could  to  annoy  and  harass  the  retreat. 
"If  the  result  of  to-day's  operations,"  he  said, 
"  should  be  our  discomfiture  and  withdrawal,  you 
are  to  look  to  Washington  and  throw  your  force 

Chap.  IX. 


to  French, 
July  3, 1863, 

7  A.  M. 
W.  R. 



Part  III., 

p.  501. 


chap.  ix.  there  for  its  protection."  The  ground  of  Culp's 
Hill  was  exceedingly  broken  and  difficult,  and  an 
obstinate  and  desultory  fight  raged  there  for  several 
hours.  But  Johnson  was  at  last  driven  from  his 
position,  and  Geary's  men  marched  once  more  into 
their  intrenchments,  which  had  been  in  possession 
of  the  enemy  overnight. 

The  little  battle  of  Culp's  Hill,  although  it  lasted 
a  good  while,  occupied  but  a  small  portion  of  either 
army,  and  after  it  was  finished  a  singular  silence 
fell  upon  the  field.  The  day  was  clear  and  hot; 
the  lassitude  of  midsummer  seemed  for  several 
hours  to  have  succeeded  the  furious  activity  of  the 
last  two  days.  There  was  something  disquieting 
to  General  Meade  in  the  intense  stillness  which  at 
noon  prevailed  in  the  enemy's  camp.  There  were 
constant  indications,  however,  of  a  movement  to  the 
Confederate  right,  masked  as  far  as  possible  by  the 
woods  and  by  the  crest  of  Seminary  Eidge.  Gen- 
eral Lee  had  been  employing  the  entire  forenoon 
in  preparations  for  his  attack;  and,  after  a  thor- 
ough consultation  and  careful  survey  of  the  entire 
field,  he  again  resolved  to  try  to  carry  the  crest  of 
Cemetery  Hill,  and  intrusted  the  work  once  more 
to  the  able  though  unwilling  hands  of  Longstreet. 
There  was  a  striking  analogy  between  Burnside's 
assault  of  Fredericksburg  and  the  one  which  Lee 
1863.  was  to  deliver  on  this  3d  of  July.  In  both  cases  a 
strong  position,  powerfully  defended,  was  to  be  at- 
tacked by  brave  and  disciplined  troops  under  corps 
commanders  who  did  not  believe  the  attack  could 
succeed.  The  troops  chosen  for  this  final  on- 
slaught upon  the  Union  line,  were  on  the  right,  the 
division  of  General  Pickett,  composed  of  the  Vir- 


ginia  chivalry,  the  flower  of  the  Confederate  army,   chap.  ix. 
supported  by  Wilcox's  division ;  and,  on  the  left, 
Pettigrew's  and  Trimble's  divisions  that,  like  Wil- 
cox's, belonged  to  the  command  of  A.  P.  Hill. 

While  the  Union  troops  were  waiting  with  intense 
expectation,  the  midday  silence  was  broken  by  juiy3,i863. 
the  report  of  two  guns  fired  at  a  short  interval,  and 
then,  all  at  once,  from  every  point  on  the  heights 
opposite,  the  simultaneous  discharge  of  130  pieces 
of  artillery  filled  the  air  with  smoke  and  flame  and 
the  wide  circuit  of  the  surrounding  hills  with  con- 
tinuous volleying  thunders.    Never  in  the  experi- 
ence of  any  of  those  seasoned  soldiers  on  either 
height  was  heard  anything  comparable.    Hancock 
and  Gibbon,   Webb    and  Warren,   to  whom  the 
thunder  of    the  captains  and  the  shouting  had 
become  every-day  experiences,  all  agree  in  saying 
that  they  never  heard  or  imagined  anything  so 
terrific.    But  the  Union  artillery  was  not  slow  in 
responding;  there  was  not  enough  room  in  the 
Union  lines  to  bring  so  great  a  number  of  guns 
into  action  as  those  with  which  the  Confederates 
had  crowned  the  wide  sweep  of  the  opposing  hills  ;      Hunt 
but  General  Hunt  had  managed  to  get  some  seventy  TKe^?t y' 
guns  into  position  and  they  replied  with  great  Si0cS?ducet 
spirit  to  the  furious  cannonade  from   Seminary  ofti865War' 
Ridge  and  the  Emmitsburg  road.     This  titanic      p.  451'.' 
artillery  duel,  in  which  two  hundred  guns  were 
engaged,   lasted  about  an  hour.    At  the  end  of 
that   time,   General    Hunt   ordered  his  batteries 
gradually  to  cease  firing ;  he  desired  to  give  his  guns 
time  to  cool,  and  to  reserve  his  ammunition  for  the 
infantry  attack  which  it  was  now   evident  was 


chap.  ix.  General  Lee,  who  expected  important  results 
from  this  extraordinary  cannonade,  thought  he 
had  silenced  the  Federal  artillery,  and  the  explo- 
sion of  several  caissons  confirmed  him  in  this 
belief.  It  is  remarkable  that  so  little  damage  was 
done  by  this  prodigious  fire.  The  shifty  veterans 
of  the  Army  of  the  Potomac  had  taken  advantage 
of  every  hillock  and  every  boulder  to  protect  them- 
selves ;  the  artillery  suffered  somewhat,  but  when- 
ever a  battery  was  disabled  its  place  was  immedi- 
ately supplied  from  the  reserve.  A  certain  number 
of  faint  hearts  melted  away  from  the  line  into  the 
Baltimore  road ;  but  at  the  end  of  an  hour  of 
such  a  fire  as  the  world  has  rarely  seen,  the 
Union  lines  were  as  strong  as  at  the  beginning.  It 
may  be  said  that  they  were  even  stronger,  for, 
while  they  were  not  in  the  least  shaken,  they  had 
drunk  of  the  delight  of  battle  and  waited  with 
firm  nerves  and  eager  eyes  for  the  coming  assault. 
The  fury  of  his  own  bombardment  had  not  in- 
spired Longstreet  with  any  new  confidence;  he 
still  believed  the  plan  of  his  general-in-chief  to 
be  rash  and  well-nigh  hopeless.  He  gave  an  order 
to  Colonel  E.  P.  Alexander,  his  chief  of  artillery,  to 
watch  the  effect  of  the  cannonading  and  give,  on  his 
own  judgment,  the  signal  of  attack  when  the  Federal 
line  should  appear  to  be  broken.  Alexander  did 
not  relish  the  responsibility;  before  and  during 
the  artillery  duel  he  sent  messages  to  Longstreet, 
which  opened  the  door  for  a  change  in  the  orders. 
Longstreet,  At  last,  as  his  ammunition  got  short,  and  the 
Rwp  if  Union  fire  slackened,  he  let  Pickett  know  that  if 
xxvii.,  the  charge  was  to  be  made,  then  was  the  time  to 
p.  360."    advance.    Pickett  sought  Longstreet  personally, 


and  demanded  his  orders.  Longstreet,  drawn  one  chap.  ix. 
way  by  the  commands  of  his  chief  and  the  other 
by  his  own  convictions,  seemed  unable,  in  his  an- 
guish of  mind,  to  utter  the  fatal  words  required 
of  him.  Pickett  at  last  said,  "  Very  well,  I  shall 
go  forward,"  to  which  Longstreet  answered  only 
with  an  affirmative  nod. 

The  Union  soldiers  on  Cemetery  Ridge  now  had  July  3,  isea 
the  opportunity  to  enjoy  a  wonderful  spectacle. 
No  sight  so  beautiful  in  a  soldier's  eyes,  so  full  of 
the  pomp  and  circumstance  of  glorious  war,  had 
ever  before  been  seen  upon  this  continent,  as  when 
Pickett  led  forth  his  troops  from  behind  the  ridge, 
where  they  had  lain  concealed,  and  formed  them 
in  column  for  attack.  There  was  nothing  like  it 
possible  in  the  swamps  of  the  Chickahominy,  or 
the  tangled  thickets  of  the  Rappahannock,  or  on  the 
wooded  shores  of  the  Rapidan.  There  no  enemy 
was  visible  half  a  musket-shot  away ;  but  here,  at 
a  distance  of  nearly  a  mile  across  a  cultivated  valley, 
part  of  which  was  covered  with  waving  grain  and 
part  smooth  in  stubble  fields,  the  whole  irradiated 
with  the  unclouded  beams  of  the  July  sun,  an  army 
formed  itself  in  line  of  battle  under  the  eyes  of  an 
appreciative  adversary.  It  came  on  across  the 
valley  in  the  form  of  a  wedge,  of  which  Pickett's 
own  division  about  5000  strong  formed  the  finely 
tempered  point ;  on  the  left  was  Heth's  division, 
commanded  by  Pettigrew,  swelled  by  a  part  of 
Trimble's  division;  on  the  right  the  column  of 
Wilcox  moved  forward  in  support ;  altogether 
some  17,000  men.  They  came  forward  with 
the  steadiness  of  troops  on  parade;  the  direc- 
tion they  took  at  first,  if  retained,  would  have 







chap.  ix.  brought  them  upon  the  First  Corps ;  but,  before 
they  had  advanced  half-way  across  the  valley,  they 
began  to  bear  off  to  the  left  and  directly  upon 
Hancock's  front. 

The  Federal  artillery,  which  they  had  supposed  to 
be  silenced,  now  opened  upon  them  from  right  and 
left  with  terrible  effect.  George  J.  Stannard's  Ver- 
mont brigade,  occupying  a  little  grove  in  advance  of 
the  Union  line,  poured  a  destructive  fire  into  Pick- 
ett's right  flank,  causing  it  to  double  in  somewhat 
upon  the  center.  Alexander  Hays,  on  Hancock's 
right,  met  the  advancing  column  of  Pettigrew  with 
such  fury  and  vigor  of  attack  that  a  large  part  of  it 
was  captured,  a  still  greater  number  gave  way  and 
fled  to  the  rear,  and  those  that  were  left  alive  moved 
to  their  right  and  joined  the  assaulting  force  of 
Pickett.  Diminishing  at  every  step,  this  devoted 
column  moved  on,  and  at  last  struck  a  point  where 
Webb's  slender  brigade  held  the  Union  line.  A  short 
and  terrible  contest  here  took  place.  Two  small  regi- 
ments of  Webb's  held  a  stone  fence  a  few  rods  in 
advance  of  the  main  line.  As  the  Confederates 
leaped  over  this  slight  barrier,  these  regiments 
moved  to  the  rear;  the  enemy,  encouraged  by 
this  seeming  success,  came  on  with  yells  of  tri- 
umph, imagining  that  the  Union  line  was  broken  ; 
but  the  apparent  fugitives  stopped  among  their 
guns,  and  encouraged  by  the  example  of  their 
young  general,  fought  with  desperate  energy, 
while  from  right  and  left,  in  a  confused  mass  of 
unorganized  valor,  regiments  and  brigades  rushed 
from  their  own  places  to  join  Webb  and  Hays  in 
their  heroic  defense  of  the  crest.  If  properly 
drawn  up  in  line  of  battle,  the  mass  of  troops  that 


gathered  to  the  rescue  at  this  point  would  have  chap.  ix. 
been  four  lines  deep.  But  control  was  for  an  in- 
stant lost;  the  men  could  not  be  restrained,  the  Juiy3,i863. 
colonels  could  not  make  their  voices  heard  in  the 
roar  and  tumult  of  battle  ;  men  fought  as  individ- 
uals. Such  a  chaos  could  only  last  for  a  few  mo- 
ments. The  extreme  point  reached  by  the  assault- 
ing column  was  a  little  clump  of  woods  where 
Lieutenant  Alonzo  H.  Cushing,  a  young  artillery 
officer  (brother  of  Commander  Gushing,  who  de 
stroyed  the  Albemarle),  stood  by  his  gun ;  though 
desperately  hurt,  with  his  last  strength  he  fired  a 
final  shot,  and  in  the  instant  of  death  saluted  his 
general  with  a  gay  farewell.  General  Lewis  A. 
Armistead,  who  was  foremost  in  the  assault,  rushed 
forward  waving  his  hat  upon  his  sword-point,  and 
fell  mortally  wounded  near  Cushing's  battery. 
This  was  the  last  leap  of  the  advancing  tide ;  from 
this  moment  it  ebbed  away.  Pickett,  with  the  few 
officers  left  him,  gave  the  superfluous  order  to 
retire ;  for  the  fight  was  over,  and  already  the  plain 
was  covered  with  fugitives  flowing  back,  not  so 
much  over  the  track  of  their  advance,  as  towards 
the  Confederate  center.  The  Union  soldiers  spring- 
ing forward  captured  a  great  many  prisoners  and 
gathered  in  a  wide  harvest  of  battle-flags. 

Meanwhile  Wilcox  had  advanced  his  support- 
ing column  obliquely  upon  Pickett's  right,  until  he 
found  himself  making  an  isolated  attack  between 
Little  Bound  Top  and  the  main  battlefield.  Stan- 
nard,  who  had  wrought  such  havoc  upon  Pickett's 
right  flank,  now  wheeled  and  tried  the  same  tactics, 
with  equal  effect,  upon  Wilcox's  left ;  the  batteries 
on  the  spur  of  Little  Bound  Top  also  rained  death 


chap.  ix.  upon  him,  and  the  troops  in  his  front  received  him 
with  a  sharp  musketry  fire ;  there  was  nothing  to 
do  but  to  turn  and  save  himself  with  what  speed 

juiy  3, 1863.  he  could.  The  briefest  and  proportionately  the 
bloodiest  of  the  three  days  of  battle  at  Gettysburg 
was  at  an  end. 

Two  cavalry  fights  had  taken  place  during  the 
day;  Kilpatrick  at  eight  o'clock  received  orders 
to  move  to  the  right  and  rear  of  Longstreet  and 
attack  with  his  division  and  the  Eegular  brigade. 
His  advance  served  to  occupy  the  attention  of  Long- 
street's  forces  in  front  of  the  Round  Tops,  during  the 
assault  on  Cemetery  Ridge.  At  half -past  five  Kil- 
patrick with  more  bravery  than  judgment  ordered  a 
charge  which  resulted  in  the  death  of  the  gallant  and 
promising  young  general,  Elon  J.  Far ns worth,  and 
the  loss  of  many  of  his  men.  J.  E.  B.  Stuart,  on  Lee's 
extreme  left,  took  up  a  position  which  menaced 
Meade's  line  of  retreat  on  the  Baltimore  road,  and 
was  there  attacked  by  the  force  of  D.  McM.  Gregg  and 
George  A.Custer.  A  general  cavalry  battle  ensued,  in 
which  charges  and  counter-charges  were  made,  but 
with  little  advantage  to  either  side  ;  Stuart  at  last 
gave  way,  and  the  Federal  cavalry  held  the  field. 
It  is  clear  that  General  Meade  did  not  immedi- 
Meadeto    ately  comprehend  the  magnitude  of  his  victory. 

jv&stms,  In  the  dispatch  which  he  wrote  in  the  evening  to 

8:w.rm'    General  Halleck  he  greatly  understated  the  extent 

xxvfi.,     of  his  success,  speaking  of  the  victory  merely  as  a 

p. 74."     "handsome  repulse"  of  the  enemy.     So  desperate 

had  been  the  contest,  so  intense  the   strain    of 

anxiety  for  three  days,  that  there  was  not  left 

enough  of  energetic  impulse  to  press  his  great 

advantage.    General  Crawford,  it  is  true,  was  sent 



forward  on  the  left  to  reconnoiter  the  battlefield  chap.  ix. 
of  the  2d  of  July;  he  came  upon  a  brigade  of  i863. 
Hood's  division,  capturing  several  hundred  pris- 
oners and  many  thousand  stands  of  arms.  The 
enemy  fled  across  a  little  brook,  an  affluent  of 
Plum  Run,  and  was  not  further  pursued.  Han- 
cock, while  he  was  borne  severely  wounded  from 
the  field,  dictated  from  his  stretcher  a  note  to 
Meade,  begging  him  to  pursue  the  broken  enemy ; 
but,  in  the  deep  fatigue  and  lassitude  of  a  great  de- 
liverance, the  general-in-chief  preferred  not  to  risk 
the  important  results  already  gained  by  any  peril- 
ous enterprise.  He  had  as  yet  no  adequate  idea  of 
the  injury  he  had  inflicted  upon  the  enemy,  and  his 
own  losses  had  been  enormous.  Of  the  men  upon 
whom  he  most  leaned,  his  trusted  comrades  through 
two  years  of  battle,  Reynolds  was  dead,  Sickles 
disabled,  Hancock,  Gibbon,  Doubleday,  Warren, 
Webb,  and  many  others  were  wounded,  and  inca- 
pable of  holding  up  his  hands  in  the  battles  which 
a  keen  pursuit  would  have  brought  upon  him.1 

1 A  large  preponderance  of  the 
testimony  given  by  the  generals 
engaged  in  the  battle  of  Gettys- 
burg before  the  Committee  on 
the  Conduct  of  the  War,  goes  to 
show  that  General  Meade  should 
have  pushed  his  advantage  after 
Gettysburg  with  more  energy 
than  he  displayed.  Generals  A.  P. 
Howe,  Sickles,  Graham,  Double- 
day,  Birney,  Wadsworth,  and 
Hunt  all  thought  great  damage 
could  have  been  inflicted  upon 
the  enemy  by  an  immediate  coun- 
tercharge. After  Pickett's  failure 
on  the  3d,  Pleasonton  begged 
Meade,  when  they  stood  together 
on  Eound  Top,  to  order  a  general 
advance  of  his  whole  army  in 

pursuit  of  the  enemy,  but  the 
general  preferred  to  order  him, 
with  his  cavalry,  to  find  out 
whether  they  were  really  falling 
back,  which,  of  course,  occupied 
so  much  time  as  to  amount  to  a 
negative  decision.  Hancock  is 
most  unqualified  in  his  opinion 
that  an  advance  should  have  been 
made.  "There  were,"  he  says, 
"  only  two  divisions  of  the  enemy 
on  our  extreme  left  opposite 
Eound  Top,  and  there  was  a  gap 
in  their  line  of  one  mile  that 
their  assault  had  left,  and  I  be- 
lieve if  our  whole  line  had 
advanced  with  spirit  it  is  not  un- 
likely that  we  would  have  taken 
all  their  artillery  at  that  point." 



on  Conduct 

of  the  War, 


Vol.  I., 

p.  408. 




The  left-hand  margin  of  this  map  coincides  (excepting  the  scale)  with  the 
upper  part  of  the  right  hand  margin  of  the  map  on  pages  264  and  265. 



General  Lee  had  one  moment  of  supreme  exulta- 
tion and  triumph  on  this  memorable  afternoon ;  it 
was  when  he  saw  the  blue  flag  of  Virginia,  borne  by 
Pickett's  troops,  waving  on  the  crest  of  Cemetery 
Eidge  among  the  Union  guns.  His  gratification 
lasted  only  an  instant,  for,  a  moment  later,  he 
saw  the   Virginia    battle-flags    dropping    thickly 

street's  artillery,  says :  "  I  have 

Chap.  IX. 

General  Warren,  while  joining  in 
the  same  opinion,  gives  a  glimpse 
of  the  feeling  which,  perhaps,  was 
the  controlling  motive  that  pre- 
vented the  advance.  "  We  were 
very  much  shattered  in  that  re- 
spect [of  important  officers  killed 
and  wounded],  and  there  was  a 
tone  among  most  of  the  promi- 
nent officers  that  we  had  quite 
saved  the  country  for  the  time, 
and  that  we  had  done  enough; 
that  we  might  jeopard  all  that 
we  had  won  by  trying  to  do  too 

The  following  opinions  of  Con- 
federate officers,  confirmatory  of 
this  view,  are  given  by  General 
Doubleday  in  his  valuable  work, 
"  Chancellorsville  and  Gettys- 
burg." Longstreet  says :"  When 
Pickett's  charge  failed  I  ex- 
pected that  of  course  the  enemy 
would  throw  himself  against  our 
shattered  ranks  and  try  to  crush 
us.  I  sent  my  staff-officers  to  the 
rear  to  assist  in  rallying  the  troops, 
and  hurried  to  our  line  of  bat- 
teries as  the  only  support  that 
I  could  give  them.  .  .  For  unac- 
countable reasons  the  enemy  did 
not  pursue  his  advantage."  Long- 
street  holds  the  same  view  in  his 
article  in  "  Battles  and  Leaders," 
Vol.  III.,  p.  347,  though  S win- 
ton  ["Army  of  the  Potomac,"  p. 
364]  represents  him  as  express- 
ing the  opinion  that  he  could 
have  repelled  an  attack.  Colo- 
nel   Alexander,   chief  of   Long- 

always  believed  that  the  enemy 
here  lost  the  greatest  opportunity 
they  ever  had  of  routing  Lee's 
army  by  a  prompt  offensive." 
He  then  refers  to  the  advantages 
of  the  Federal  position,  and  says : 
"Is  it  necessary  now  to  add  any 
statement  as  to  the  superiority  of 
the  Federal  force,  or  the  ex- 
hausted and  shattered  condition 
of  the  Confederates  for  the  space 
of  at  least  a  mile  in  their  very 
center,  to  show  that  a  great  op- 
portunity was  thrown  away  ? 
I  think  that  General  Lee  him- 
self was  quite  apprehensive  the 
enemy  would  riposte,  and  that  it 
was  that  apprehension  which 
brought  him  alone  up  to  my  guns, 
where  he  could  observe  all  the 
indications."  General  Trimble 
says:  "By  all  the  rules  of  war- 
fare the  Federal  troops  should, 
as  I  expected  they  would,  have 
marched  against  our  shattered 
column,  and  sought  to  cover  our 
army  with  an  overwhelming  de- 
feat." Colonel  Simms,  who  com- 
manded a  Georgia  brigade  which 
was  put  to  flight  by  General  Craw- 
ford late  on  the  3d,  writes  to  the 
latter:  "There  was  much  con- 
fusion in  our  army,  so  far  as  my 
observation  extended,  and  I  think 
we  would  have  made  but  feeble 
resistance  if  you  had  pressed  on 
on  the  evening  of  the  3d."  For 
Warren's  Testimony,  vide  Report 
Committee  on  Conduct  of  the  War. 

July,  1863. 


chap.  ix.  to  the  ground  and  his  most  trusted  troops 
flowing  back  towards  him  like  a  broken  wave.  He 
hastened  at  his  utmost  speed  to  meet  this  return- 
ing column,  and  did  all  in  his  power  to  calm  and 
encourage  his  beaten  soldiers.  Again,  like  Burn- 
side  at  Fredericksburg,  he  took  all  the  blame  and 
all  the  responsibility  upon  himself.  He  rode  to- 
wards the  Peach  Orchard,  where  Colonel  Alexander 
still  commanded  the  artillery,  and  there,  with  Long- 
street,  concerted  what  hasty  means  of  defense  were 
in  their  power  to  meet  the  attack  which  they 
thought,  of  course,  would  follow ;  but  as  the  hours 
passed  by,  and  the  long  summer  day  faded  into 
twilight,  and  no  attack  was  made,  General  Lee 
concluded  to  mass  his  entire  army  on  Seminary 
Ridge  and  prepare  for  defense  or  retreat  in  the 
1863.  The  next  day  was  the  Fourth  of  July,  to  be  made 

memorable  for  the  second  time  to  all  generations 
of  Americans,  mingling  the  associations  of  Gettys- 
burg and  Yicksburg  with  those  of  Philadelphia  in 
the  last  century.  The  reconnaissances  sent  out  by 
General  Meade,  to  his  left  and  to  his  right,  found  the 
enemy  still  in  position  in  front  of  the  Round  Tops  ; 
but  from  Benner's  Hill  and  from  the  town  of  Gettys- 
burg everything  had  disappeared;  most  of  the 
enemy's  wounded  and  the  unburied  dead  were  lying 
on  the  deserted  field  of  battle.  In  the  course  of  the 
day  a  request  for  a  truce  and  exchange  of  prisoners 
was  received  from  General  Lee,  which  General 
xxvii.,  Meade,  under  the  circumstances,  very  properly  de- 
Ppf  514.1"'  dined.  The  day  passed  away  in  the  Union  army  in 
the  care  of  the  wounded  and  the  last  offices  to  the 
dead :  even  yet  General  Meade  was  not  aware  of  the 



magnitude  of  his  victory.     He  issued,  it  is  true,  a   chap.  ix. 
brave  and  inspiriting  order  of  the  day,  announcing 
that  the  enemy  was  "  utterly  baffled  and  defeated," 
and  saying,  "  Our  task  is  not  yet  accomplished,  and 
the  commanding  general  looks  to  the  army  for     ox&, 
greater  efforts  to  drive  from  our  soil  every  vestige  of    JTsVm?' 
the  presence  of  the  invader  " ;  but  at  noon  he  tele-       vol' 
graphed  General  Halleck,  saying  merely  that  the    Part5J^'» 
enemy  had  thrown  back  his  left,  that  we  had  occu- 
pied Gettysburg,  and  that  he  should  require  some      ™<l, 
time  to  get  up  supplies  and  rest  his  army.    A      p-ra.'' 
violent  rain-storm  came  on  during  the  day,  which 
formed  another  reason  for  delay.     At  night  he 
called  together  his  corps  commanders  in  council  of 
war ;  he  put  to  them  the  question  whether  to  remain  Butterfleld 
at  Gettysburg  or  to  take  immediate  measures  to  TRe^rty* 
attack  the  enemy  or  cut  off  his  retreat ;  the  ma-  ^coSiuct 

jority  were  in  favor  of  remaining  where  they  were,  of  t?^^rar' 
keeping  a  close  watch  upon  the  movements  of  the      p?±27.' 

On  the  morning  of  the  5th,  the  Confederates  Juiy,i863. 
were  discovered  to  be  in  full  retreat.  General  Lee, 
as  we  have  seen,  gave  as  a  reason  for  attacking  the 
Federal  army  in  position  the  difficulty  of  moving 
his  trains  through  the  mountains ;  but  after  his 
defeat  he  found  no  difficulty  in  moving  those  trains 
encumbered  still  further  by  thousands  of  wounded 
and  prisoners.  Through  the  night  and  the  storm 
he  retired  by  the  Fairfield  and  Cashtown  roads. 
Meade  acted  with  sufficient  promptness  on  receiving 
this  news ;  he  resolved  to  put  his  army  in  march  on 
the  enemy's  flank  by  way  of  Middletown  and  the 
South  Mountain  passes,  while  he  sent  General  Sedg- 
wick with  a  considerable  force  in  direct  pursuit. 

Vol.  VII.— 18 



char  ix.  Sedgwick  came  upon  Lee's  rear-guard  at  Fairfield 
Pass,  and  found  him  in  a  position  so  strong  that  it 
was  unadvisable  to  attack  him  ;  he  reported  this  to 
Meade,  and  joined  the  rest  of  the  army  in  its  march 

The  news  of  this  victory  was  received  at  Wash- 
ington with  great  rejoicing,  and  the  Government 
ordered  every  man  whom  it  could  reach  to  reen- 
force  General  Meade  at  Frederick.  The  President 
accompanied  his  generous  words  of  praise  and  con- 
gratulation to  the  general  with  strict  injunctions 
to  give  Lee  no  rest  or  respite.  On  the  7th  he  sent 
the  inspiring  news  of  the  surrender  of  Vicksburg, 
and  told  Meade  if  he  could  "  complete  his  work  so 
gloriously  prosecuted  thus  far,  by  the  literal  or 
substantial  destruction  of  Lee's  army,"  the  rebellion 
would  be  over ;  on  the  same  day  he  informed  him 
that  he  had  been  appointed  a  brigadier-general 
in  the  regular  army  of  the  United  States.  Al- 
most every  hour  Meade  received  from  the  War 
Department  some  words  of  stimulus  or  encourage- 
ment. Halleck  wrote:  "You  have  given  the 
enemy  a  stunning  blow  at  Gettysburg ;  follow  it 
up  and  give  him  another  before  he  can  reach  the 
ibid.  Potomac."  All  through  the  7th  and  8th  of  July 
these  pressing  dispatches  continued ;  General  Meade 
seemed  to  grow  weary  of  them  at  last,  and  began 
on  the  afternoon  of  the  8th  to  insist  upon  the  diffi- 
culties of  the  enterprise  so  pressingly  commended 
to  him.  "  I  expect,"  he  says,  "  to  find  the  enemy  in 
a  strong  position  well  covered  with  artillery,  and  I 
do  not  desire  to  imitate  his  example  at  Gettysburg 
and  assault  a  position  where  the  chances  were  so 
greatly  against  success.     I  wish  in   advance  to 

July,  1863, 

W.  R. 

Part  I., 

p.  83. 


to  Meade, 

July  7, 1863. 


p.  82. 


moderate  the  expectations  of  those  who  in  igno-    chap.  ix. 
ranee  of  the  difficulties  to  be  encountered  may  x  Meade, 

J     to  Halleck, 

expect  too  much."    In  this  strain  the  correspond-  Juf^'^m' 
ence  continued  for  the  next  three  days,  the  Govern-      ^<J; 
ment  urging  General  Meade  forward  with  as  much     pfrli1;' 
pressure  as  was  consistent  with  proper  courtesy       p* 
and  consideration  for  a  meritorious  officer  who  had 
just  rendered  an  inestimable  service,  and  the  gen- 
eral expressing  his  intention  to  do  all  he  could,  and 
his  sense  of  the  difficulties  in  the  way. 

In  the  mean  time  General  Lee  had  arrived  at  the 
Potomac  and  taken  up  his  position  on  the  line  from 
Williamsport  to  Falling  Waters ;  he  found  his  pon- 
toon bridge  partly  destroyed  by  General  French 
and  the  river  so  swollen  by  the  rains  as  to  be  un- 
fordable.    In  this  critical  condition  he  did  all  that 
was  in  his  power ;  he  set  to  work  to  reconstruct 
his  bridge,  and  while  waiting  for  the  river  to  fall, 
he    strongly    intrenched  himself    against  attack. 
General  Meade  arrived  in  his  front  on  the  10th,   July,  i863. 
and  for  two  days,  with  the  utmost  caution,  advanced 
inch  by  inch  until  the  two  armies  were  less  than  a 
mile  apart.   On  the  12th  he  announced  his  intention 
to  attack  the  enemy  the  next  day  "  unless  some- 
thing intervenes  to  prevent  it,  for  the  reason  that 
delay  will  strengthen  the  enemy  and  will  not  in- 
crease my  force."  Unfortunately  something  did  in-  ibid.,  P.  91. 
tervene ;  it  was  a  council  of  war.  On  the  night  of  the 
12th  he  called  his  corps  commanders  together,  and  a     Meade 
large  majority  unqualifiedly  opposed  the  projected  tojSy\e3C,k' 
attack.    Meade  himself  favored  it,  but  he  was  sup-      p.  91.  " 
ported  only  by  General  Wadsworth  who,  as  a  civil- 
ian general,  did  not  impose  his  opinion  with  much 
authority  upon  the  council,  and  by  General  Howard, 



Chap.  IX. 




on  Conduct 

of  the  War, 


Vol.  I., 

p.  381. 

POSITIONS  JULY  13,  1863. 

whose  bad  luck  at  Chancellorsville  and  Gettysburg 
had  deprived  him  of  much  of  his  influence.  In  the 
face  of  this  opposition  Meade  felt  himself  too  new 
in  command  of  the  army  to  disregard  it  entirely ; 
he  therefore  resolved  to  pass  the  next  day  in  a 
thorough  series  of  reconnaissances,  and  if  he  could 
find  a  weak  place  in  the  enemy's  line  to  assault  it ; 
he  announced  this  decision  in  a  dispatch  to  the 
War  Department  and  received  in  reply  a  vehement 
message  signed  by  Halleck  but  evidently  inspired 
by  the  President  himself.  "You  are  strong  enough 
to  attack  and  defeat  the  enemy  before  he  can  effect 
a  crossing.  Act  upon  your  own  judgment  and  make 



Part  I. 
p.  92. 

your  generals  execute  your  orders.  Call  no  coun-  chap.  ix. 
cil  of  war.1  It  is  proverbial  that  councils  of  war  \|viy°L 
never  fight.  .  .  Do  not  let  the  enemy  escape." 

The  next  morning,  July  14,  Meade's  earliest  recon- 
naissances proved  how  just  had  been  the  fears 
of  the  Government.  Lee's  lines  were  found  de- 
serted ;  he  had  crossed,  in  the  night,  a  part  of  his 
force  by  the  bridge  which  he  had  repaired  at  Fall- 
ing Waters  and  a  part  at  Williamsport,  where  the 
river  had  fallen  enough  during  the  last  twenty- 
four  hours  to  be  fordable.  The  President,  on  re- 
ceipt of  this  news,  sent  General  Meade  a  dispatch 
expressing  his  great  dissatisfaction  at  the  result, 
which  General  Meade  felt  so  keenly  that  he  imme- 
diately requested  to  be  relieved  from  command  of 
the  army.  The  President  replied  through  Halleck  i^a.,  p.  9a 
that  the  dispatch  was  not  intended  as  a  censure 

July  14, 


1  This  council  of  war  should 
never  have  been  called.  Of  the 
corps  commanders  and  the  men 
of  brain  and  temperament  who 
fought  the  battle  of  Gettysburg, 
Reynolds  was  dead,  Hancock  and 
Sickles  were  wounded,  Warren, 
Pleasonton,  Hunt,  and  Humph- 
reys, who  were  all  in  favor  of  the 
attack,  had  no  votes  in  the  coun- 
cil, so  that  Meade  was  overborne 
by  mere  numbers.  The  true 
opinion  of  the  leading  officers  of 
the  army  would  be  represented 
as  follows  :  in  favor  of  attack, 
Meade,  Hancock,  Sickles,  How- 
ard, Wadsworth,  Warren, Pleason- 
ton, Humphreys,  Hunt;  against, 
Sedgwick,  Sykes,  Hays,  French, 
and  Slocum.  The  matter  was 
unfortunately  decided  by  the 
votes  of  the  last  five.  General 
Wadsworth  in  conversation  soon 
after     said,     "The    weight    of 

authority  in  the  council  of  war 
was  decidedly  against  fighting. 
French,  Sedgwick,  and  Slocum 
strenuously  opposed  a  fight, 
Meade  was  in  favor  of  it,  Pleason- 
ton was  very  eager  for  it,  I  said 
what  I  could.  Those  opposed 
seemed  to  think  that  if  we  did 
not  attack  the  enemy  would,  and 
even  Meade  thought  he  was  not 
ready  for  action ;  he  had  no  idea 
that  the  enemy  intended  to  get 
away  at  once.  Howard  had  little 
to  say  on  the  subject.  Meade  was 
in  favor  of  attacking  in  three 
columns,  each  of  20,000  men." 
Wadsworth  further  said  in  the 
same  conversation  thathe  thought 
there  were  a  good  many  officers 
of  the  regular  army  who  had  not 
yet  entirely  lost  their  West  Point 
idea  of  Southern  superiority. — J. 
H. ,  Diary.  See  also  Report  Com- 
mittee on  Conduct  of  the  War. 


chap.  ix.    but  as  a  stimulus  to  action,  and  declined  to  accept 
1  Juiy  i4,     his  resignation.     The  cavalry  started  at  once  in 

1863.  W.     -K« 

xxvii      pursuit  and  succeeded  in  capturing  a  brigade  of 
ppfJA    mfanfay  and    some    guns  and    flags  at    Falling 

juiy,  1863.  The  12th  and  13th  had  been  passed  by  the  Pres- 
ident in  intense  anxiety,  and  when,  on  the  14th, 
he  heard  of  Lee's  escape  he  suffered  one  of  the 
deepest  and  bitterest  disappointments  of  the  war. 
"We  had  them  within  our  grasp,"  he  said;  "we 
had  only  to  stretch  forth  our  hands  and  they  were 
j  ours,  and  nothing  I  could  say  or  do  could  make 

Diary,  ^he  army  move."  He  had  been  most  unfavorably 
impressed  by  a  phrase  in  Meade's  general  order 
after  the  victory  in  which  he  spoke  of  "driving  the 
invader  from  our  soil."  He  said  upon  reading  it, 
"  This  is  a  dreadful  reminiscence  of  McClellan ;  it 
is  the  same  spirit  that  moved  him  to  claim  a  great 
victory  because  '  Pennsylvania  and  Maryland  were 
safe.'  Will  our  generals  never  get  that  idea  out 
of  their  heads  ?  The  whole  country  is  our  soil." 
He  regretted  that  he  had  not  himself  gone  to  the 
army  and  personally  issued  the  order  for  an 

The  President's  disappointment  lasted  through 
the  week.  He  said  at  one  time,  "  Our  army  held 
the  war  in  the  hollow  of  their  hand  and  they  would 
not  close  it " ;  and  again,  "  We  had  gone  through 
all  the  labor  of  tilling  and  planting  an  enormous 
crop,  and  when  it  was  ripe  we  did  not  harvest  it. 
Still,"  he  added  with  his  habitual  instinctive  jus- 
tice, "I  am  very  grateful  to  Meade  for  the  great 
service  he  did  at  Gettysburg " ;  and,  at  the  end  of 
the  week,  having  received  a  letter  from  General 



Howard  justifying  Meade's  entire  action  at  Wil-  chap.  ix< 
liamsport,  the  President  answered  him  expressing 
his  deep  mortification  at  the  escape  of  Lee,  ren- 
dered deeper  by  the  high  hopes  inspired  by  the 
brilliant  conduct  of  our  troops  at  Gettysburg ;  he 
referred  to  his  own  long-cherished  and  often  ex- 
pressed conviction  that  if  the  enemy  ever  crossed 
the  Potomac  he  might  be  destroyed ;  he  said  that 
Meade  and  his  army  had  expended  their  skill  and 
toil  and  blood  up  to  the  ripe  harvest  and  then 
allowed  it  to  go  to  waste ;  but  he  added  that,  after 
the  lapse  of  several  days,  he  now  felt  profoundly 
grateful  to  Meade  and  his  army  for  what  they  had 
done  without  indulging  in  any  criticisms  for  what 
they  had  not  done,  and  General  Meade  had  his  full 
confidence  as  a  brave  and  skillful  officer  and  a 
true  man.1 

While  the  President's  disappointment  and  irrita- 
tion were  at  their  keenest,  he  wrote  a  letter  to  Gen- 
eral Meade  which  he  never  signed  or  sent.  It  was 
not  an  unusual  proceeding  with  him  to  put  upon 
paper  in  this  way  his  expressions  of  dissatisfaction 
and  then  to  lay  them  away,  rather  than  wound  a 
deserving  public  servant  by  even  merited  censure. 
The  letter  is  given  as  the  clearest  statement  which 
could  be  made  of  the  failure  to  reap  the  full  harvest 
of  the  Gettysburg  victory : 


July  21r 

1  The  battle  of  Gettysburg  was 
one  of  the  most  destructive  in 
modern  history.  The  Comte  de 
Paris  says,  "  The  losses  on  both 
sides  were  almost  equal,  and 
enormous  considering  the  num- 
ber of  combatants  engaged." 
According  to  the  revised  tables 
the  Union  army  lost  3072  killed, 

14,497  wounded,  5434  captured 
or  missing,  in  all  23,033;  the 
Confederates  had  2592  killed, 
12,709  wounded,  and  5150 
missing;  in  all  20,451  men. 
The  troops  engaged  on  the  actual 
field  of  battle  numbered  about 
78,000  men  under  Lee  and  92,- 
000  or  94,000  under  Meade. 


chap.  ix.  I  have  just  seen  your  dispatch  to  General  Halleek,  ask- 
ing to  be  relieved  of  your  command  because  of  a  supposed 
censure  of  mine.  I  am  very,  very  grateful  to  you  for  the 
magnificent  success  you  gave  the  cause  of  the  country  at 
Gettysburg  5  and  I  am  sorry  now  to  be  the  author  of  the 
slightest  pain  to  you.  But  I  was  in  such  deep  distress 
myself  that  I  could  not  restrain  some  expression  of  it.  I 
have  been  oppressed  nearly  ever  since  the  battles  at  Gettys- 
burg by  what  appeared  to  be  evidences  that  yourself  and 
General  Couch  and  General  Smith  were  not  seeking  a  col- 
lision with  the  enemy,  but  were  trying  to  get  him  across 
the  river  without  another  battle.  What  these  evidences 
were,  if  you  please,  I  hope  to  tell  you  at  some  time  when 
we  shall  both  feel  better.  The  case,  summarily  stated,  is 
this :  You  fought  and  beat  the  enemy  at  Gettysburg ;  and, 
of  course,  to  say  the  least,  his  loss  was  as  great  as  yours. 
He  retreated,  and  you  did  not,  as  it  seemed  to  me,pressingly 
pursue  him  j  but  a  flood  in  the  river  detained  him  till,  by 
slow  degrees,  you  were  again  upon  him.  You  had  at  least 
twenty  thousand  veteran  troops  directly  with  you,  and  as 
many  more  raw  ones  within  supporting  distance,  all  in 
addition  to  those  who  fought  with  you  at  Gettysburg ; 
while  it  was  not  possible  that  he  had  received  a  single  re- 
cruit; and  yet  you  stood  and  let  the  flood  run  down, 
bridges  be  built,  and  the  enemy  move  away  at  his  leisure 
without  attacking  him.  And  Couch  and  Smith — the 
latter  left  Carlisle  in  time,  upon  all  ordinary  calcu- 
lation, to  have  aided  you  in  the  last  battle  at  Gettysburg, 
but  he  did  not  arrive.  At  the  end  of  more  than  ten  days, 
I  believe  twelve,  under  constant  urging,  he  reached  Ha- 
gerstown  from  Carlisle,  which  is  not  an  inch  over  fifty-five 
miles,  if  so  much,  and  Couch;s  movement  was  very  little 

Again,  my  dear  general,  I  do  not  believe  you  appreciate 
the  magnitude  of  the  misfortune  involved  in  Lee's  escape. 
He  was  within  your  easy  grasp,  and  to  have  closed  upon 
him  would,  in  connection  with  our  other  late  successes, 
have  ended  the  war.  As  it  is,  the  war  will  be  prolonged 
indefinitely.  If  you  could  not  safely  attack  Lee  last  Mon- 
day, how  can  you  possibly  do  so  south  of  the  river,  when 
you  can  take  with  you  very  few  more  than  two-thirds  of 



the  force  you  then  had  in  hand  ?    It  would  be  unreason-    chap.  ix. 
able  to  expect,  and  I  do  not  expect  [that]  you  can  now 
effect  much.    Your  golden  opportunity  is  gone,  and  I  am 
distressed  immeasurably  because  of  it. 

I  beg  you  will  not  consider  this  a  prosecution  or  perse- 
cution of  yourself.  As  you  had  learned  that  I  was  dis- 
satisfied, I  have  thought  it  best  to  kindly  tell  you  why. 

to  Meade, 

July  14, 





chap.  x.  rilHE  town  of  Vicksburg  stands  on  a  plateau 
I  some  two  hundred  feet  above  the  river  level, 
which  has  been  cut  and  carved  by  the  rains  of 
centuries  so  as  to  present  a  chaos  of  ravines  and 
ridges  running  in  every  direction.  The  hills  are 
composed  of  a  peculiarly  tough  and  fine-grained 
clay,  and  the  ravines,  cut  out  of  them  by  the  run- 
ning streams,  retain  their  form  for  many  years, 
only  gradually  widening  under  the  climate  and 
weather.  Except  where  the  streams  that  form 
them  are  very  large,  the  ravines  are  extremely 
narrow  at  the  bottom.  They  are  so  steep  that  it  is 
impossible  for  a  full-armed  soldier  to  climb  them. 
The  only  way  in  which  this  net-work  of  hills  and 
chasms  can  be  traversed  is  by  roads  running  along 
the  crests  of  the  ridges.  All  these  crests  were  fully 
commanded  by  the  Confederate  works;  and  it  was 
this  which  made  the  siege  of  Vicksburg  so  tedious 
and  toilsome  an  enterprise. 

When  Grant  arrived  before  the  intrenchments, 
1863.       on  the  evening  of  May  18th,  he  thought  it   pos- 
sible that  the  defeats   of  the  last  week  had  so 
demoralized  and  discouraged  the  defenders  of  the 
place  that  a  quick  rush  of  his  victorious  troops 



might  carry  the  works  by  a  coup-de-main.  He 
therefore  ordered  a  general  attack  on  the  after- 
noon of  the  19th.  Sherman's  corps  got  up  to  the 
works,  but,  as  McClernand's  and  McPherson's 
were  at  a  greater  distance,  they  were  unable  to 
afford  Sherman  the  necessary  support,  and  the 
attack  failed,  with  no  advantage  to  the  Union 
forces  except  a  nearer  approach  to  the  enemy's 
works,  and  the  gaining  of  better  ground  for  a 
future  attempt. 

General  Grant  did  not  wait  long  for  his  second 
trial.  The  reasons  which  he  gave  in  his  report 
for  the  second  assault  have  been  generally  ac- 
cepted by  military  critics  as  sound,  in  spite  of 
the  failure  of  the  enterprise.  He  believed  the 
assault  could  be  made  successful;  secondly,  he 
knew  that  Johnston  was  at  Canton,  and  was  being 
rapidly  reenforced;  he  was  anxious,  therefore,  to 
take  the  place  before  Johnston  could  fall  upon  his 
rear,  and,  having  done  this,  he  would  himself  have 
been  able  to  turn  upon  Johnston  and  drive  him 
from  the  State  before  the  season  was  too  late  for 
campaigning;  and,  finally,  he  says:  "The  troops 
themselves  were  impatient  to  possess  Vicksburg, 
and  would  not  have  worked  in  the  trenches  with 
the  same  zeal,  believing  it  unnecessary,  that  they 
did  after  their  failure  to  carry  the  enemy's  works." 
He  therefore  ordered,  on  the  evening  of  the  21st, 
an  assault  all  along  the  line  at  ten  o'clock  the  next 
morning,  and  caused  all  the  corps  commanders  to 
set  their  watches  by  his  so  that  the  assault  might 
be  made  at  the  same  instant.  This  was  done  ac- 
cording to  orders,  and  with  equal  bravery  and 
energy  in  all  three  of  the  corps,  and  with  equal 

Chap.  X. 

May,  1863. 



July  6, 186*. 

W.  R. 


Part  I., 

p.  55. 

May,  1863. 

to  Halleck, 
May  22,  and 
July  6, 1863. 

pp.  37,  55. 






chap.  x.  lack  of  success.  Sherman's,  McPherson's,  and  Mc- 
Clernand's  soldiers  all  rushed  with  the  same  valor 
for  the  narrow  roads  through  which,  alone,  the 
assault  could  be  made;  each  planted  their  flags 
upon  the  outer  walls  of  the  enemy's  works;  all 
were  met  with  an  energetic  defense  and  repulsed 
with  heavy  loss. 

A  bitter  controversy  arose  after  the  battle  be- 
tween General  McClernand  on  the  one  side  and 
General  Grant  and  his  friends  on  the  other,  in  re- 
gard to  an  unfortunate  incident  by  which  the  Union 
losses  were  greatly  increased.  Grant  watched  the 
attack  from  a  hill  on  the  Jackson  road,  which  com- 
manded a  view  of  all  the  roads  on  which  the  assault 
was  made.  He  saw  the  forward  rush ;  the  blaze  of 
fire  from  the  enemy's  parapet ;  the  planting  of  the 
Union  colors  on  the  outward  slope;  the  check  of 
his  soldiers  and  their  pause  in  the  ditches.  He  was 
satisfied  that  the  attack  had  failed,  and,  starting  to 
communicate  with  Sherman,  in  regard  to  the  next 
step  to  be  taken,  he  received  a  dispatch  from  Gen- 
eral McClernand  saying  he  was  hard  pressed,  and 
asking  for  reinforcements.  He  continued  his  ride 
to  Sherman's  position,  and  on  reaching  there  re- 
ceived a  second  dispatch  from  McClernand,  saying 

volxxiv.,  that  he  had  part  possession  of  two  forts,  and  that 
p-  "2.'  the  Stars  and  Stripes  were  floating  over  them. 
Neither  Grant  nor  Sherman  placed  full  credence  in 
this  enthusiastic  dispatch,  but  both  agreed  that  it 
was  impossible  to  neglect  so  important  a  message 
at  such  a  time.     Sherman  said  the  note  was  official 

"Memoirs."  and  must  be  credited,  and  offered  to  renew  the 
p.  327/     assault  with  new  troops.    At  McPherson's  head- 
quarters, whither  he  instantly  hastened,  General 

11 :  15  A.  M. 

W.  R. 


Grant  received  a  third  dispatch  from  McClernand    chap.  x. 
of  the  same  import,  and  at  last  ordered  the  attack 
to  be  renewed.    The  devoted  soldiers  sprang  once 
more  to  the  assault  with  the  finest  courage  and 
energy,   but  it  was    useless;    they  were    every- 
where repulsed   again,  and  the  renewed  attempt 
only  added  heavily  to  the  list  of  the  day's  casual- 
ties.   General  McClernand  always  insisted  that  his 
dispatches  were  correct,  and  that  he  would  have 
taken  the   town  if   he  had  been  properly  sup- 
ported, but  the  facts  seem  to  be  that  only  Ser-     ™*®$*- 
geant  Joseph  E.  Griffith  of  the  Twenty-second  Iowa,     Se°$; 
with  a  squad  of  men,  got  into  the  enemy's  works,  voi."xxrv\; 
and  they  were  all  killed  but  the  valorous  sergeant     pai54." 
himself,  who  came  out  safely,  bringing  some  pris- 
oners with  him. 

This  was  General  McClernand's  last  feat  of  arms.1 
Unwilling  to  trust  his  exploits  of  the  22d  of  May  to 
any  less  intelligent  or  friendly  chronicler  than  him- 
self, he  wrote,  on  the  30th  of  May,  and  published  to 
his  troops,  and  not  to  his  troops  alone  but  to  his 
fellow-citizens  in  the  North,  a  congratulatory  order, 
in  which  he  recounted,  in  the  style  of  Napoleon 
in  Italy,  the  labors  and  the  triumphs  of  the  Thir- 
teenth Army  Corps,  giving  especial  prominence  to 
the  affair  of  the  22d.  If  he  had  confined  himself  May,  i863. 
to  the  doughty  deeds  of  his  own  soldiers,  it  might 
have  passed  unnoticed,  but  he  unfortunately  sought 
to  gild  his  own  achievements  by  slighting  those  of 
his  comrades;  and  to  place  his  own  desert  in  a 
brighter  light  he  even  insinuated  that  the  general- 

1  On  September  25,  1863,  which  may  be  found  in  the  War 
General  McClernand  wrote  an  Records,  Vol.  XXIV.,  Part  L,  pp. 
elaborate  defense  of  his  conduct,    169,  186. 



Chap.  X. 

in-chief  had  not  properly  supported  him.1  When 
this  order,  published  in  a  St.  Louis  paper,  came 
back  to  the  camp  it  occasioned  such  effervescence 
as  may  easily  be  imagined  in  the  corps  of  Sherman 
and  McPherson.  Both  these  generals  joined  im- 
mediately in  a  protest  to  General  Grant  against 
their  censorious  colleague,  and  Grant,  fully  sympa- 
thizing in  their  resentment,  immediately  relieved 
General  McClernand  from  the  command  of  the 
Thirteenth  Army  Corps,  assigning  in  his  place, 
subject  to  the  President's  approval,  that  able  and 
modest  soldier,  E.  O.  C.  Ord.  In  announcing  this 
action  to  General  Halleck,  Grant  said  that  he  had 
tolerated  General  McClernand  long  after  he  thought 
the  good  of  the  service  demanded  his  removal, 
which,  he  added,  now  that  it  had  taken  place,  had 
"  given  general  satisfaction ;  the  Thirteenth  Army 
Corps  sharing,  perhaps,  equally  in  the  feeling 
with  other  corps  of  the  army." 
May  22,1863.  After  this  severe  repulse,  which  cost  the  Union 
army  more  than  three  thousand  men  with  no  com- 
pensating advantages  whatever,  Grant  gave  up  all 
thought  of  taking  the  place  by  storm,  and  resolved 
upon  a  regular  siege.  In  the  peculiarities  of  to- 
pography to  which  we  have  already  referred,  this 

'  Military 
of  U.  S. 
Vol.  I., 
p.  364. 

1  "  How  and  why  the  general 
assault  failed  it  would  be  useless 
now  to  explain.  The  Thirteenth 
Army  Corps,  acknowledging  the 
good  intentions  of  all,  would  scorn 
indulgence  in  weak  regrets  and 
idle  criminations.  According 
justice  to  all,  it  would  only  de- 
fend itself.  If,  while  the  enemy 
was  massing  to  crush  it,  assist- 
ance was  asked  for  by  a  diversion 
at  other  points,  or  by  reinforce- 

ment, it  only  asked  what  in  one 
case  Major-General  Grant  had 
specifically  and  peremptorily  or- 
dered, namely,  simultaneous  and 
persistent  attack  all  along  our 
lines,  until  the  enemy's  outer 
works  should  be  carried,  and 
what  in  the  other,  by  massing  a 
strong  force  in  time  upon  a  weak- 
ened point,  would  have  probably 
insured  success. " —  W.  R.  Vol. 
XXIV.,  Part  L,  p.  161. 

''  ^ 



siege  differs  from  any  other  in  history.  Vicksburg  chap.  x. 
was,  properly  speaking,  not  a  fortress,  but  an  in- 
trenched camp  stretching  for  miles  along  the 
heights  of  the  Mississippi  and  defended  by  innu- 
merable gullies  and  ravines  almost  impassable  to 
troops.  Grant's  forces  at  the  beginning  were  al- 
together insufficient  for  the  complete  investment  of 
such  a  camp;  at  the  outset  of  the  campaign  his 
forces  numbered  about  43,000,  though  at  the  close 
his  army  had  been  increased  to  75,000  men.  In  his 
official  report  Pemberton  says  that  when  he  moved 
into  the  defenses  he  had  28,000  effectives.  The 
parole  lists  after  the  surrender  accounted  for  29,491 
men,  which  included  the  non-effectives.  Not  being 
able  to  garnish  the  entire  semicircle  of  investment 
with  troops  Grant  contented  himself,  at  the  begin- 
ning, with  holding  and  strongly  occupying  the  north- 
ern half  of  it ;  Sherman's  corps  holding  the  bank  of 
the  Mississippi  and  the  heights  to  the  east  of  it ; 
McPherson  coming  next,  and  McClernand  upon  his 
left.  General  Jacob  G.  Lauman  arrived  two  days 
after  the  assault,  and  was  placed  in  position  on 
McClernand's  left  to  guard  the  Hall's  Ferry  and  the 
Warrenton  roads  which  enter  Vicksburg  from  the 
south.  Brigadier-General  John  McArthur,  with 
three  brigades,  had  already  joined  McPherson's 
corps  and  strengthened  his  line,  and  on  the  11th  of 
June,  the  division  of  General  Herron  arrived  from  lsea 
the  other  side  of  the  river,  and  completed  the  in- 
vestment by  taking  up  a  strong  position  on  the 
river  south  of  the  town.  Lauman,  moving  to  the 
right,  formed  a  close  connection  with  Hovey,  thus 
hermetically  closing  all  the  avenues  of  approach 
to  Vicksburg.  Now,  for  the  first  time  in  his  ca- 
Vol.  VIL— 19 


chap.  x.    reer,  Grant,  wishing  by  an  overwhelming  force  to 

Grant      insure  the  capture  of  the  town  and  to  defend  him- 

MafSS:  self  against  the  threatened  attack  of  Johnston,  asked 

volxxiv.,  for  reinforcements  which,  even  before  his  request 

p.  40."     was  received,  were  promptly  and  ungrudgingly  sent 

him  as  fast  as  they  were  needed  or  could  be  used ; x 

so  that  he  was  able,  on  the  8th  of  June,  to  say  in 

a  dispatch  to  Washington,  "Vicksburg  is  closely 

invested.    I  have  a  spare  force  of  about  thirty 

to  Haffeck,  thousand  men  with  which  to  repel  anything  from 

June  8, 1863.     ..  x  "  ° 

iwd.,  P.  a.   the  rear." 

The  troops,  having  been  satisfied  by  the  slaugh- 

May,  1863.  ter  of  the  22d  of  the  impossibility  of  storming 
the  works  in  their  front  and  of  the  absolute 
necessity  of  hard  work  to  capture  them,  labored 
for  six  weeks  with  cheerful  and  uncomplain- 
ing fortitude  in  the  drudgery  of  the  siege.  The 
army  was  most  imperfectly  provided  with  all  the 
material  considered  essential  for  the  prosecution  of 
a  work  of  this  sort,  and  the  ingenuity  of  the  Amer- 
ican soldier  found  constant  exercise  in  the  inven- 
tion of  devices  to  supply  these  deficiencies.  They 
wattled  their  gabions  with  crushed  cane  which 
abounded  in  the  ravines  and  hollows;  they  took 
empty  barrels  from  the  commissary  department 
which,  bound  about  with  fascines  of  cane,  made 

1 "  General  Halleck  appreciated  mand  of  General  C.  C.  Washburn, 

the  situation  and,  without  being  The  Ninth  Army  Corps,   under 

asked,  forwarded  reinforcements  General  J.  G.  Parke,  came  in  on 

with    all    possible    dispatch."—  the  14th  and  was  also  stationed 

Grant,      "  Personal     Memoirs."  at  Haines's  Bluff  to  be  ready  for 

Vol.  I.,  p.  535.  an    apprehended    movement    of 

Sooy  Smith's  division  of  the  Johnston.  "  At  the  close  of  the 
Sixteenth  Corps  arrived  June  11,  siege,"  says  Greene,—  u  The  Mis- 
Nathan  Kimball's  had  already  ar-  sissippi,"  p.  1 8  8,— ' '  there  were 
rived  on  the  3d,  and  both  were  17,000  men  from  Hurlbut's 
sent  to  Haines's  Bluff  under  com-  corps  present  at  Vicksburg." 


excellent  sap-rollers.  They  had  no  cohorn  mortars,  chap.  x. 
and  so  improvised  them  by  shrinking  iron  bands 
on  cylinders  of  hard  wood  and  boring  them  for 
shells.  The  negro  refugees  from  the  surrounding 
counties  came  in  and  worked  with  cheerful  and 
efficient  industry  under  the  novel  stimulus  of  reg 
ular  wages.  The  peculiar  nature  of  the  ground 
was  the  occasion  of  all  sorts  of  eccentric  siege  in- 
ventions. When  it  became  necessary  to  cross  one 
of  the  gullies  commanded  by  the  enemy's  fire,  they 
would  build  in  the  night  strong  parapets  of  logs, 
manning  them  with  picked  riflemen  under  which 
the  working  parties  were  perfectly  protected  the 
next  day ;  for  the  first  shot  from  the  rebel  works 
would  be  answered  by  a  deadly  reply  from  the  log 
parapets.  The  engineer's  report  refers  in  one  in- 
stance to  a  reconnaissance  of  a  rebel  ditch  obtained 
by  mounting  a  mirror  upon  a  sap-roller.  As  the 
siege  went  on  from  day  to  day,  and  the  hostile 
armies  came  nearer  and  nearer  together,  they  were 
constantly  within  sound  of  each  other's  voices,  and 
friendly  conversations  continually  took  place  be- 
tween soldiers  who  would  have  destroyed  each 
other  in  a  moment  with  their  rifles,  if  they  had 
come  within  sight.1 

For  siege  operations  of  this  enormous  extent  the 
force  of  engineers  in  the  army  was,  of  course,  alto- 

1  "  On  one  occasion,  in  front  of  could  have  stopped  our  work  by 

Ord's  corps,  our  pickets,  in  being  remaining  in  his  lines  and  firing 

posted,  became  intermixed  with  an  occasional  volley,  the  advan- 

the  enemy's,  and  after  some  dis-  tage  of  this  arrangement,  novel  in 

cussion  the  opposing  picket  ofli-  the  art  of  war,  was  entirely  on 

cers  arranged  their  picket-lines  by  our  side  and  was  not  interfered 

mutual  compromise,  these  lines  with."  —  Engineers    Prime    and 

in  places  not  being  more  than  ten  Comstock,  Report.     W.  R.    Vol. 

yards    apart.     As    the    enemy  XXIV.,  Part  II.,  p.  175. 


chap.  x.  gether  inadequate.  Grant,  Sherman,  and  McPher- 
son  multiplied  themselves  all  along  the  line.  Every 
graduate  of  West  Point  in  the  army  was  assigned 
to  energetic  duty,  and  the  cleverest  and  most  capa- 
ble collegians  from  the  volunteer  regiments  were 
detailed,  and  given  an  opportunity  to  show  what 
their  Euclid  and  Legendre  had  done  for  them. 

While  holding  the  enemy  in  front  in  this  grip  of 
iron  Grant  was  equally  vigilant  in  regard  to  the 
enemy  in  his  rear.  After  his  reinforcements  arrived 
he  felt  strong  enough  to  remove  Sherman  from 
his  duty  on  the  heights  above  Vicksburg,  and  to 
place  him  in  command  of  a  large  army  to  observe 
Johnston.  He  gave  him  Generals  Parke,  Wash- 
burn, James  M.  Tuttle,  McArthur,  and  Osterhaus, 
who  massed  a  force  of  about  thirty  thousand  men ; 
and  a  strong  division  of  McPherson's  was  also 
held  in  constant  readiness  to  join  him.  Sherman 
occupied  the  country  from  Haines's  Bluff  on  the 
left  to  a  bridge  over  the  Black  River  on  the  right, 
a  space  of  eight  miles.  Foraging  expeditions  sent 
out  previously  had  made  a  waste  of  the  entire  region 
between  the  two  rivers,  gathering  large  supplies  for 
the  Union  army,  and  spoiling  the  country  to  the 
point  of  starvation,  to  prevent  General  Johnston 
from  drawing  provisions  from  it. 

Two  incidents  of  the  siege  from  which  important 
results  were  expected  on  the  one  side  and  on  the 
other,  but  which  had  in  the  end  no  effect  upon  the 
march  of  events,  deserve  perhaps  a  word  of  notice. 
1863.  Shortly  after  the  assault  of  the  22d  of  May  an 
attempt  was  made  to  enfilade  the  enemy's  batteries 
upon  Fort  Hill,  by  which  it  was  thought  that  an 
important  position  on  the  Confederate  left  might 


be  carried.  It  was  therefore  attacked  from  the  river  chap.  x. 
with  that  readiness  which  Porter  always  showed 
when  his  assistance  was  needed  by  the  army,  on 
the  morning  of  the  27th  of  May ;  but  nothing  came  i863. 
of  it,  except  the  destruction  of  the  gunboat  Cincin- 
nati, which  was  sunk  in  half  an  hour  by  the  plung- 
ing fire  from  the  guns  of  Fort  Hill.  After  this,  no 
further  direct  attack  was  made  by  the  navy,  which, 
however,  continued  to  lend  valuable  assistance  by 
the  bombardment  of  the  town. 

The  other  incident  was  a  diversion,  on  the  west 
side  of  the  river  at  Milliken's  Bend,  by  a  division 
under  General  John  G.  Walker  sent  from  Ar- 
kansas by  General  Kirby  Smith.  Milliken's  Bend 
had  been  left  undefended  except  by  a  small  garri- 
son consisting  chiefly  of  colored  troops  from 
Louisiana.  The  garrison  was  assailed  with  great 
energy  by  the  Confederates,  and  the  attack  at 
first  seemed  to  promise  a  complete  success ;  but 
the  garrison,  after  having  been  driven  out  of  their 
works  to  the  shelter  of  a  levee  by  the  river  side, 
there  rallied  and,  with  the  assistance  of  the  gun- 
boats Choctaw  and  Lexington  which,  as  usual,  were 
ready  when  needed,  the  assault  was  checked,  and 
finally  repulsed.  A  brigade  of  the  Fifteenth  Corps 
was  sent  across  the  river  next  day,  and  this,  together 
with  the  marine  brigade  under  Alfred  W.  Ellett, 
drove  Walker  along  the  Shreveport  railroad  to 
Monroe.  This  raid,  which,  it  was  hoped,  might  have 
opened  the  gates  of  the  Western  frontier  to  Pember- 
ton's  army,  came  to  nothing,  and  even  if  they  had 
succeeded  in  taking  and  holding  Milliken's  Bend, 
such  occupation  would  probably  not  have  been  of 
long  continuance,  and  the   attempt  to   evacuate 


chap.x.    Vicksburg  under  the  fire  of  Porter's  guns  would 
have  been  nothing  less  than  desperate. 

While  Grant  was  pushing  his  saps  and  mines  inch 

by  inch  up  to  the  Confederate  works,  Johnston  was 

doing  his  best  to  bring  together  an  army  at  Canton 

sufficient  to  raise  the  siege  of  Vicksburg.    He  soon 

found  himself  at  the  head  of  a  not  inconsiderable 

force.    During  the  first  days  of  the  siege  he  was 

joined  by  the  brigades  of  Generals  Gist,  M.  D.  Ector, 

and  Evander  McNair.   Loring's  division,  ragged  and 

travel-stained  from  its  long  wanderings,  reached 

him  four  days  after  the  battle  of  Champion's  Hill, 

and  S.B.Maxey  came  in  from  the  Port  Hudson  army 

some  days  later.    By  the  4th  of  June  he  received  the 

Johnston,    additional  reinforcements  of  a  brigade  under  N.  G. 

not!i,°i863.  Evans,  a  division  under  General  Breckinridge,  and 

voLxxiv.,  a  cavalry  division,  commanded  by  W.  H.  Jackson, 

p- 242-      amounting  to  2800  men ;  a  force,  according  to  the 

Confederate  War  Department,  of  32,000,  but  which 

General  Johnston,  after  the  habit  of  Confederate 

generals,  diminishes  to  24,000.    Although  he  says 

in  his  report  it  was  "  not  one-third  [the  force]  of  the 

ibid.       enemy,"  it  really  was,  in  those  first  days  of  June, 

not  very  much  inferior  to  the  victorious  army  of 

Grant,  and  if  it  could  have  been  joined  with  the 

army  of  Pemberton  before  Grant's  reinforcements 

arrived,  Johnston  would  have  found  himself  at  the 

head  of  a  force  largely  in  excess  of  the  Union 

army.    Johnston  complains  bitterly,  in  his  report 

and  in  his  "  Narrative,"  of  his  deficiency  in  every 

arm  of  the  service;  but  it  cannot  be  denied  that, 

ia63.       during  the  whole  month  of  June,  his  army  was  as 

deficient  in  leadership  as  in  anything  else. 

Luck,  as  well  as  some  other  things,  was  against  him. 


He  sent  a  dispatch  to  General  Franklin  Gardner  di-  chap.  x. 
recting  the  evacuation  of  Port  Hudson,  but  before  it 
reached  him  the  investment  of  that  post  was  com- 
plete. In  answer  to  Pemberton's  repeated  requests 
in  the  latter  days  of  May  for  some  demonstration 
which  should  relieve  him,  he  answered  on  the  29th  May,i863. 
that  he  was  too  weak  to  save  Vicksburg ;  that  he 
could  do  nothing  more  than  attempt  to  save  the 
garrison,  and  invited  suggestions  from  Pemberton 
as  to  the  manner  of  accomplishing  this.  During 
the  whole  month  of  June  the  correspondence  be- 
tween them  continued  on  the  same  lines,  Pember- 
ton representing  from  day  to  day  his  increasing 
needs  and  Johnston  giving  what  scant  encourage- 
ment he  could.  At  last  Pemberton,  on  the  21st  of 
June,  suggested  that  Johnston  should  march  upon 
Grant  north  of  the  Jackson  railroad,  driving  in  his 
pickets  at  night  and  at  daylight  next  morning 
engage  him  heavily  with  skirmishers,  occupying 
him  during  the  entire  day ;  that  on  that  night  he 
would  attempt  to  escape  by  the  Warrenton  road  by 
Hankinson's  Ferry,  at  which  point  Johnston  should 
previously  send  a  brigade  of  cavalry  and  two  field  voJxxiv., 
batteries  to  cover  the  crossing.  The  messenger  j^m" 
who  brought  this  dispatch  told  Johnston  that  it 
-was  Pemberton's  opinion  that  the  attempt  could 
not  be  made  with  less  than  40,000  men.  Johnston 
saw,  in  this  verbal  message,  an  excuse  for  postpon- 
ing the  desperate  enterprise  proposed  to  him,  and 
answered  on  the  following  day  that  there  was  hope 
of  cooperation  with  General  Taylor  from  the  west 
bank  of  the  river ;  that  he  would  himself  try  to 
make  a  diversion  in  Pemberton's  favor  in  a  day  or 
two ;  that  he  feared  his  force  was  too  small;  and  he 


chap.x.    gave  Pemberton  the  cold  comfort  of  suggesting 

that  he    had    better  communicate  with   General 

Taylor    and    try  to   cross   the  river   at  the  last 

moment.    But  by  this  time  Pemberton's  hopes  had 

June,  1863.   so  faded  that  he  wrote  on  the  same  day  (the  22d) 

suggesting  that  Johnston  should  propose  terms  of 

surrender  to  General  Grant,  saying  that  he  might 

hold  out  for  fifteen  days  longer,  but  that  the  enemy's 

works  were  within  twenty-five   feet  of  his  redan ; 

that  his  men  had  been  thirty-four  days  and  nights 

in  the  trenches  without  relief,  and  the  enemy  within 

conversation  distance.    "  We  are  living,"  he  adds, 

"on    very    reduced   rations";    and    this   gloomy 

dispatch,   Johnston   says,   was    the   last  received 

from  Pemberton,  though  others  were  written.    He 

answered,  saying  that  if  the  worst  should  come 

<<JNa??atwe  Pemberton  should  himself  make  overtures  of  sur- 

0  qpera^7   render  to  Grant,  as  such  a  step  on  Johnston's  part 

p.  we.      «  would  be  an  impolitic  confession  of  weakness." 

During  all  these  months  a  busy  and  most  unsatis- 
factory correspondence  was  going  on  between  the 
Confederate  Government  at  Richmond  and  Gen- 
1863.  eral  Johnston.  On  the  24th  of  May  Jefferson  Davis 
expressed  to  him  the  not  very  reasonable  hope  that 
he  should  soon  be  able  to  break  the  investment, 
make  a  junction,  and  carry  in  munitions.  Johnston 
replied,  referring  to  his  inferiority  in  troops  to  Gen- 
eral Grant,  and  the  controversy  as  to  his  numbers 
continued  for  several  days.1    In  a  dispatch  of  the 

1  Jefferson  Davis  says :  "  On  the  mand  and  a  few  hundred  irregular 

1st   of   June    General   Johnston  cavalry.     Mr.  Seddon,  Secretary 

telegraphed  to  me  that  the  troops  of  War,  replied  to  him,  stating  the 

at  his  disposal  available  against  force  to  be  32,000." — "Rise  and 

Grant  amounted  to  24,100,  not  Fall  of  the  Confederate  Govern- 

including  Jackson's  cavalry  com-  ment."    Vol.  II.,  p.  412. 


5th  of  June  Mr.  Seddon,  the  Secretary  of  War,    chap.  x. 

regrets  his  inability  to  promise  more  troops,  "as 

we  have  drained  resources  even  to  the  danger  of  volxxiv., 

Part  I 

several  points."     Johnston   says  five  days  later:      P. 224."' 
"  I  have  not  at  my  [disposal]  half  the  number  of     Jui863*°' 
troops  necessary."    At  the  same  time  he  does  not 
choose  to  take  the  responsibility  of  withdrawing 
troops  from  Bragg.    "Nor  is  it  for  me,"  he  says,     juneis. 
"to  judge  which  it  is  best  to  hold,  Mississippi  or 
Tennessee  —  that  is  for  the  Government  to  deter- 
mine.   Without  some  great  blunder  of  the  enemy  volxxiv., 
we  cannot  hold  both.  .  .  I  consider  saving  Vicks-     Pp.r227." 
burg  hopeless."1 

Mr.  Seddon  replied  in  grief  and  alarm :  "  Vicks- 
burg  must  not  be  lost  without  a  desperate  struggle. 
The  interest  and  honor  of  the  Confederacy  forbid 
it.  I  rely  on  you  still  to  avert  the  loss.  If  better 
resources  do  not  offer  you  must  hazard  attack."  mid. 
To  this  General  Johnston  replied  in  a  dispatch 
which  shows  how  depressed  was  the  tone  of  his 
spirits  and  how  impossible  it  was  for  him  to  see 
anything  but  the  strength  of  the  enemy  and  his 
own  weakness.  "  Grant's  position,"  he  says,  "  nat-  June  19. 
urally  very  strong,  is  intrenched  and  protected  by 
powerful  artillery  and  the  roads  obstructed.  .  . 
The  Big  Black  covers  him  from  attack  and  would 
cut  off  retreat  if  defeated.  .  .  The  defeat  of  this 

1  The  Governor  of  Mississippi  was  continually  presenting  them 
and  four  other  prominent  South-  —  that  the  withdrawal  of  these 
erners  sent  Mr.  Davis  a  dispatch  troops  might  possibly  involve  the 
from  Jackson,  on  the  18th  of  loss  of  Tennessee,  but  that  the 
June,  saying  that  it  would  re-  failure  to  send  them  would  in- 
quire not  less  than  30,000  addi-  volve  the  loss  of  the  Mississippi 
tional  troops  to  relieve  Vicksburg,  Valley.  They  add:  "Werespect- 
and  placing  before  the  Confeder-  fully  submit  that  Vicksburg  and 
ate  authorities  the  same  merciless  the  country  adjoining  upon  it 
dilemma  which  General  Johnston  should  be  held  at  every  sacrifice." 



Chap.  X. 

to  Seddon, 

June  19, 

1863.    W.  R. 


Part  L, 

p.  227. 

Seddon  to 


June  21, 


Ibid.,  p.  228. 

to  Seddon, 

June  24, 


Ibid.,  p.  229. 

"  Narra- 
tive," p.  202. 

little  army  would  at  once  open  Mississippi  and 
Alabama  to  Grant."  He  repeats  that  he  has  no 
hope  of  doing  more  than  to  extricate  the  garrison. 
Mr.  Seddon,  two  days  later,  in  a  tone  of  vehement 
persuasion,  urged  General  Johnston  to  action. 
With  courteous  and  even  nattering  language  he  in- 
vited him  to  follow  the  most  desperate  course  the 
occasion  might  demand.  "  Eely  upon  it,  the  eyes 
and  hopes  of  the  whole  Confederacy  are  upon  you, 
with  the  full  confidence  that  you  will  act,  and  with 
the  sentiment  that  it  were  better  to  fail  nobly 
daring  than  through  prudence  even  to  be  inactive. 
I  look  to  attack  in  last  resort,  but  rely  on  your 
resources  of  generalship  to  suggest  less  desperate 
modes  of  relief."  Mr.  Seddon,  in  his  deep  distress, 
went  on  to  suggest,  in  turn,  an  attack  upon  Banks, 
something  to  be  done  in  cooperation  with  Kirby 
Smith,  or  finally  the  setting  on  foot  of  siege 
operations  with  artillery  against  Grant  from  the 
dry  swamps  on  the  north  side  of  the  Yazoo  below 
Haines's  Bluff. 

Johnston,  unmoved  by  these  persuasions  and 
passionate  appeals,  explained,  on  the  24th,  the  utter 
impossibility  of  following  any  of  these  suggestions ; 
but,  unable  to  withstand  the  pressure  behind  him, 
he  at  last  made  ready  to  move  upon  Grant's  line. 
He  is  careful  to  make  it  clear  that  he  did  not 
undertake  this  expedition  in  the  "  wild  spirit  that 
dictated  the  dispatches  from  the  War  Department." 
He  did  not  expect  to  save  Vicksburg  by  raising  the 
siege.  His  utmost  hopes,  he  said,  were,  in  case  the 
chances  of  success  seemed  to  justify  it,  to  attack 
the  beleaguering  line,  and  to  rescue  the  army. 

With  this  intention  he  devoted  the  2d,  3d,  and 


4th  of  July  to  an  elaborate  series  of  reconnais-    chap.x. 
sances,  which  showed  him  that  the  besieging  army    Johnston, 
was  covered  by  a  line  of  field-works  extending  Vol^xxiv. 
from  the  railroad  bridge  to  the  Yazoo  ;  that  all  the  ppf  fii,1^. 
roads  leading  to  it  had  been  obstructed,  and  that  MJ£|Jjjg^ 
strong  bodies  of    Federal   troops    observed    and  of0^era-ry 
guarded  the  river.    He  therefore  determined,  he      p?203. 
says,  to  move  by  the  way  of  Edwards's  Station  to 
the  south  road  on  the  morning  of  the  5th,  and  he   Juiy>  1863. 
dispatched  a  note  to  G-eneral  Pemberton  telling 
him  that  a  relieving  force  was  about  to  attempt  a 
diversion  to  enable  him  to  cut  his  way  out  of  the 
place,  and  that  he  hoped  to  attack  the  enemy  for 
this  object  on  the  7th.    But  even  before  the  letter 
was  written  the  fate  of  Pemberton  and  his  army 
had  been  decided ;   and,  instead  of  moving  upon 
Vicksburg,  Johnston  was  making  the  best  of  his 
way  to  Jackson  on  the  7th  of  July.    In  any  case 
G-eneral  Johnston's  attack  would  have  been  too 
late,  for  it  was  the  6th  of  July  that  Grant  had  fixed 
as  the  day  of  his  final  assault  upon  Vicksburg. 

The  heads  of  sap  had  reached  the  enemy's  lines 
at  several  points.  Grant  had  fired  one  heavy 
mine  on  the  Jackson  road  on  the  25th  of  June,  ex- 
ploding almost  a  ton  of  powder.  Vast  masses 
of  earth  were  thrown  into  the  air,  a  part  of  the 
enemy's  parapet  was  hurled  bodily  into  the  Union 
lines,  several  Confederate  soldiers  being  thrown  in, 
still  living,  with  the  flying  mass.1    An  attempt  was 

1  lt  I  remember  one  colored  up.  '  Don't  know,  massa,  but  t'ink 
man  who  had  been  underground  'bout  tree  mile,'  was  his  reply, 
at  work  when  the  explosion  General  Logan  .  .  .  took  this  col- 
took  place  who  was  thrown  to  our  ored  man  to  his  quarters,  where 
side.  He  was  not  much  hurt,  but  he  did  service  to  the  end  of  the 
terribly  frightened.  Some  one  siege." — Grant,  "Personal  Me- 
asked  him  how  high  he  had  gone  moirs."    Vol.  I.,  p.  552. 

p.  173. 


chap.  x.  made  to  hold  the  crater  thus  formed,  but  it  was 
commanded  by  an  inner  line,  and  after  severe  loss 
from  hand-grenades  the  Union  troops  were  com- 
pelled to  abandon  it.  Another  mine  was  begun 
with  the  intention  of  firing  it  when  the  final  assault 
was  made,  but  the  Confederate  miners  being  hard 
at  work  very  near  it,  it  was  thought  injudicious  to 
1863.       wait  and,  on  the  1st  of  July,  the  mine  was  loaded 

En  m  r     an(^  nre(^  agam  destroying  a  redan  of  the  enemy, 

cm™etockd  crusnmg  his  galleries,  and  disabling  about  twenty- 
RwPRrL     nve  men-     The  Union  troops  were  deterred  by  the 

vpartnl"  experience  of  the  25th  of  June  from  attempting  to 
occupy  this  crater.  The  approaches  were  now  in 
several  places  within  a  few  feet  of  the  enemy's 
works;  every  advance  of  a  single  yard  resulted 
in  a  hand-to-hand  contest  between  the  troops 
of  the  two  armies.  No  further  progress  could 
be  made  by  digging  alone.  The  enemy's  works 
were  everywhere  weakened.  At  as  many  as  ten 
different  points  Grant  was  able  to  put  heads  of 
regiments  under  cover  within  from  five  to  one  hun- 
dred yards  of  the  enemy's  line.  There  was  little 
more  to  be  done.  No  further  delay  could  avail. 
Vicksburg  was  a  ripe  fruit  only  waiting  to  be 
plucked,  and  Grant  had  fixed  the  hour  of  plucking 
three  days  ahead. 

Within  the  city  the  state  of  affairs  had  come  to 
a  point  where  much  longer  resistance  was  impos- 
sible. Absolute  famine  had  not  yet  made  its  ap- 
pearance, but  the  stock  of  provisions  was  dwindling 
fast,  and  prices  had  risen  portentously.  They  were 
estimated,  it  is  true,  in  Confederate  money,  but 
as  the  people  had  no  other  measure  of  value,  even 
these  fictitious  prices  give  some  idea  of  the  general 


distress.  Flour  was  $1000  a  barrel;  meal  $140  a  chap. x. 
bushel.  It  was  difficult  to  get  a  gallon  of  molasses 
for  ten  dollars.  The  oxen  killed  by  the  shells 
of  the  bombardment  were  picked  up  by  butchers 
and  the  meat  sold  for  two  and  three  dollars  a 
pound.  The  pack-mules  which,  early  in  the  siege, 
had  been  driven  outside  the  rebel  works  to  forage 
for  themselves,  were  now  enticed  inside  or  caught 
by  parties  in  the  night,  and  furnished  the  sub- 
sistence of  thousands  of  troops  and  citizens.  The 
unhappy  people  of  Vicksburg  passed  their  nights 
and  a  great  part  of  their  days  in  caves  excavated 
in  the  hillsides.  These  troglodyte  habitations  be- 
came an  article  of  commerce,  selling  for  forty  or 
fifty  dollars  each.  There  was  still  a  large  army 
within  the  walls  and  they  were  not  yet  destitute 
of  military  stores. 

The  most  serious  deficiency  was  that  which  be- 
gan to  declare  itself  in  the  morale  of  the  troops. 
The  Confederates  seemed  to  have  lost  confidence 
in  their  leaders  and  all  hope  of  a  favorable  issue 
of  the  siege.  Conversation  between  the  pickets  of 
the  opposing  forces  became  general,  and  was  en- 
couraged by  Grant,  as  the  advantage  was  all  upon 
his  side.  Late  in  the  siege  the  rebel  pickets  com- 
municated a  rumor  current  in  the  city,  that  the 
place  was  to  be  evacuated  by  night ;  that  the  gar- 
rison was  to  be  transferred  across  the  Mississippi, 
and  that  houses  were  being  torn  down  all  over  the 
city  for  the  purpose  of  constructing  boats  to  effect 
this  passage.  They  also  said  that  there  was  a  dis- 
position among  the  troops  to  mutiny  if  they  were 
called  on  to  cut  their  way  out.  Among  General 
Pemberton's  papers   communications   have  been 


chap.x.    found,  from  private  soldiers,  warning  him  of  the 

voikxiv    ommous  ^one  °f  discontent  in  his  army.     Held  by 

Ppffc9™"   the  relentless  embrace  of  a  host  he  now  considered 

invincible,  and  despairing   at  last  of  any  relief 

1863.       from  the  outside,  Pemberton,  on  the  1st  of  July, 

requested  his  division  commanders  to  give  him 

their  opinion,  in  writing,  as  to  the  ability  of  their 

troops  "to  make  the  marches  and  undergo  the 

voi.xxiv.,  fatigues  necessary  to  accomplish  a  successful  evac- 

p.  28i."     uation."    Forney,  Smith,  and  Bowen  at  once  re- 


plied,  advising  capitulation ;    Stevenson's  opinion 
pp/Si/m  was  little  more    encouraging.      Pemberton  then 
called  them  together,  and  the  council  unanimously 
pemberton  resolved  upon  capitulation.     General  Bowen  was 
juiy3,ai863.  sen^  w^n  a  f^g  °f  truce  to  Grant,  on  the  morning 
p.b283.'      of  the  3d,   proposing  the    appointment  of    com- 
missioners to  arrange  terms  of  surrender.    As  the 
matter  was  resolved  upon,  Pemberton  thought  best 
to  lose  no  time,  and  as  he  was  afterwards  severely 
blamed  for  giving  to  the  Union  arms  the  glory  of 
a  great  victory  upon  the  national  anniversary,  he 
replied  that  he  had  selected  that  day  for  the  sur- 
render, hoping  for  better  terms  through  this  grati- 
fication of  the  national  pride.1     To  Bowen's  em- 
bassy Grant  replied  that  the  only  terms  he  would 
admit  were  those  of  "unconditional  surrender"; 

1  General  Grant  does  not  give  the  great  national    holiday.    .    . 

credit  to  the  reasons  assigned  by  Holding  out  for  better  terms,  as 

July,  1863.     Pemberton  for  choosing  the  4th  he  did,  he  defeated  his  aim  in  the 

as  the  date  of  his  surrender.     "I  latter  particular.    .    .    His  first 

have  no  doubt,"  he  says,  "  that  letter  asking  terms  was  received 

Pemberton  commenced  his  cor-  about  ten  o'clock  A.  m.,  July  3d. 

respondence  on  the  3d  with  a  two-  It  then  could  hardly  be  expected 

fold  purpose  ;  first,  to   avoid  an  that  it  would  take   twenty-four 

assault  which  he  knew  would  be  hours  to  effect  a  surrender."  — 

successful,   and  second,  to  pre-  Grant,  "  Personal  Memoirs."  Vol. 

vent  the  capture  taking  place  on  I.,  pp.  564,  565. 


Bowen,  being  a  friend  of  Grant's  and  an  old  neigh-    chap.  x. 
bor  in  Missouri,  asked  for  a  personal  interview; 
this  Grant  declined,  but  consented  to  meet  Pem- 
berton  in  front  of  the  lines  at  three  o'clock. 

In  the  afternoon,  under  a  tree  standing  alone  juiy3,i863. 
upon  the  hillside  a  few  hundred  yards  from  the 
rebel  lines,  the  commanders  of  the  two  armies  met, 
Pemberton  being  accompanied  by  G-eneral  Bowen 
and  Colonel  L.  M.  Montgomery,  and  Grant  by  Ord 
and  McPherson,  Logan  and  A.  J.  Smith.  It  was  a 
picture  full  of  vivid  and  exciting  interest  to  the 
troops  of  the  two  armies,  who  swarmed  upon  the 
parapets  of  the  opposing  lines  in  eager  expectation 
and  perfect  security,  in  places  where  their  exposure 
a  few  hours  before  would  have  been  certain  death. 
A  strange  and  almost  oppressive  silence,  unbroken 
by  a  single  shot  from  the  earthworks  or  the  fleet, 
brooded  over  the  scene,  wrapt  in  the  warm  languor 
of  a  sultry  summer  evening.  The  two  generals 
saluted  each  other,  and  Pemberton  asked  what 
terms  of  capitulation  he  was  to  expect.  Grant  re- 
peated what  he  had  said  in  the  morning.  Pember- 
ton haughtily  replied,  "  Then  the  conference  may 
as  well  terminate  " ;  and  in  this  futile  manner  the 
meeting  was  on  the  point  of  breaking  up,  when 
G-eneral  Bowen  suggested  that  a  conference  be- 
tween two  of  the  subordinates  might  lead  to  some 
result.  Grant  neither  assented  nor  objected  to 
this,  and  Smith  and  Bowen  retired  a  little  way, 
leaving  Pemberton  and  Grant  in  conversation.  A 
few  minutes  later  the  two  subordinates  returned, 
and  Bowen  suggested  that  the  Confederates  should 
march  out  of  Vicksburg  with  the  honors  of  war. 
Grant  promptly  and  smilingly  rejected  the  propo- 


chap.  x.  sition.  Without  coming  to  any  conclusion  the 
generals  separated,  Grant  promising  to  send  his 
ultimatum  before  ten  o'clock  at  night;  the  truce 
to  last  as  long  as  the  correspondence  should  be  in 
progress.    Grant  returned  to  his  camp,  and  sent 

juiy 3, 1863.  to  Pemberton  the  following  letter: 

In  conformity  with  agreement  of  this  afternoon,  I  will 
submit  the  following  proposition  for  the  surrender  of  the 
city  of  Vicksburg,  public  stores,  etc.  On  your  accepting 
the  terms  proposed,  I  will  march  in  one  division  as  a  guard, 
and  take  possession  at  8  A.  M.  to-morrow.  As  soon  as 
rolls  can  be  made  out,  and  paroles  signed  by  officers 
and  men,  you  will  be  allowed  to  march  out  of  our  lines, 
the  officers  taking  with  them  their  side-arms  and  cloth- 
ing, and  the  field,  staff,  and  cavalry  officers  one  horse 
each.  The  rank  and  file  will  be  allowed  all  their  cloth- 
ing, but  no  other  property.  If  these  conditions  are  ac- 
cepted, any  amount  of  rations  you  may  deem  necessary 
can  be  taken  from  the  stores  you  now  have,  and  also  the 
necessary  cooking  utensils  for  preparing  them.  Thirty 
wagons  also,  counting  two  two-horse  or  mule  teams  as  one, 
will  be  allowed  to  transport  such  articles  as  cannot  be 
carried  along.  The  same  conditions  will  be  allowed  to 
all  sick  and  wounded  officers  and  soldiers  as  fast  as  they 
w.  r.  become  able  to  travel.  The  paroles  for  these  latter  must 
VpartXi.T"  ^e  signed,  however,  while  officers  are  present  authorized 
p-  60-       to  sign  the  roll  of  prisoners. 

Late  at  night  Pemberton  replied,  accepting  these 
terms  in  the  main,  "  but  in  justice  both  to  the  honor 
and  spirit "  of  his  troops,  manifested  in  the  defense 
of  Vicksburg,  he  proposed  by  way  of  amendment 
to  evacuate  the  works  in  and  around  Vicksburg, 
and  to  surrender  the  city  and  garrison  under  his 
command,  by  marching  out  with  his  colors  and 
arms,  and  stacking  them  in  front  of  his  pres- 
ent lines,  after  which  Grant  should  take  possession. 
pp.  60,'ei.    He  asked  also  that  officers  should  retain  their  side- 



arms  and  personal  property,  and  the  rights  and  chap.x. 
property  of  citizens  should  be  respected.  Shortly 
after  midnight  Grant  sent  his  final  answer,  acceding 
only  partly  to  Pemberton's  proposed  amendment. 
"  It  will  be  necessary,"  Grant  said,  "  to  furnish 
every  officer  and  man  with  a  parole  signed  by  him- 
self, which,  with  the  completion  of  the  rolls  of  pris- 
oners, will  necessarily  take  some  time.  Again  I  can 
make  no  stipulations  with  regard  to  the  treatment 
of  citizens  and  their  private  property.  While  I  do 
not  propose  to  cause  them  any  undue  annoyance  or 
loss,  I  cannot  consent  to  leave  myself  under  any 
restraint  by  stipulations.  The  property  which  offi 
cers  will  be  allowed  to  take  with  them  will  be  as 
stated  in  my  proposition  of  last  evening ;  that  is, 
officers  will  be  allowed  their  private  baggage  and 
side-arms,  and  mounted  officers  one  horse  each. 
If  you  mean  by  your  proposition  for  each  brigade 
to  march  to  the  front  of  the  lines  now  occupied 
by  it,  and  stack  arms  at  ten  o'clock  A.  M.,  and  then 
return  to  the  inside  and  there  remain  as  prisoners 
until  properly  paroled,  I  will  make  no  objection 
to  it.  Should  no  notification  be  received  of  your 
acceptance  of  my  terms  by  9  a.  m.,  I  shall  regard 
them  as  having  been  rejected,  and  shall  act  accord- 
ingly. Should  these  terms  be  accepted,  white  flags 
should  be  displayed  along  your  lines  to  prevent  J^f1^ 
such  of  my  troops  as  may  not  have  been  notified  Voi!xxiv., 
from  firing  upon  your  men."  These  terms  were  FpT.\^" 
accepted  by  Pemberton. 

The  last  shot  had  been  fired  on  the  heights  of 
Vicksburg.    At  ten  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  the 
4th  of  July  the   Union  soldiers,  stauding  upon       1863. 
the  parapets  of  their  works,  witnessed  with  deep 
Vol.  VII.— 20 


chap.  x.  emotion  the  army  of  the  Confederates  issuing  from 
their  sally  ports,  stacking  their  arms  in  front  of  the 
works  which  they  had  defended  so  long  and  so 
gallantly,  and  retiring  again  within  their  lines  as 
prisoners  of  war.  They  were  so  near  together  that 
every  word  spoken  on  one  side  could  easily  be 
heard  on  the  other,  and  it  is  not  the  least  of  the 
glories  gained  by  the  Army  of  the  Tennessee  in  this 
wonderful  campaign  that  not  a  cheer  went  up  from 
the  Union  ranks,  not  a  single  word  that  could 
offend  their  beaten  foes.  Logan's  command,  which 
was  nearest  to  the  works,  had  the  merited  honor  of 
marching  first  into  Vicksburg.  The  soldiers  of  the 
two  armies  immediately  began  to  fraternize,  and 
the  Northern  boys  shared  the  contents  of  their  well- 
filled  haversacks  with  their  hungry  brethren  of  the 
South.  In  the  higher  ranks  this  fraternization  was 
not  so  prompt.  General  Grant  was  received  by 
Pemberton  and  his  staff,  at  headquarters,  with  sulky 
coldness.  No  one,  at  first,  offered  him  a  seat;  when 
he  asked  for  a  drink  of  water  he  was  told  where  he 
might  find  it  himself;  and  during  the  interview 
Badeau  between  the  two  generals,  which  lasted  half  an 
"msto?7  hour,  Grant  remained  standing  while  officers,  girded 
Grant?5  with  the  swords  which  his  magnanimity  had 
p?387.'  allowed  them  to  retain,  sat  sullenly  about  him. 
General  Pemberton  asked  for  supplies  to  feed  his 
troops.  Grant  asked  him  how  many  rations  would 
be  required,  and,  to  his  amazement,  Pemberton 
replied  thirty-two  thousand,  for  from  these  words 
the  conqueror  gained  the  first  intelligence  of  the 
magnitude  of  his  triumph.  With  his  habit  of 
minimizing  the  number  of  his  enemy  he  had 
thought,  up  to  this  moment,  that  he  had  captured 


less  than  twenty  thousand  men.  He  rode  down  chap.x. 
to  the  wharf  and  exchanged  congratulations  with 
Porter,  who  had  rendered  him  such  manful  assist- 
ance through  evil  and  good  report  during  the  last 
year,  and  then  went  back  through  the  cheering 
lines  of  his  troops  to  his  old  quarters  in  the  camp 
beyond  Vicksburg. 

The  paroling  of  the  troops  was  rapidly  accom- 
plished, and  they  marched  away  on  the  11th  of 
July,  Pemberton  vainly  imploring  the  assistance  lsea 
of  Grant  to  keep  them  in  their  ranks ;  the  disposi- 
tion to  desert  was  so  general  that  he  feared  he 
could  not  bring  his  army  intact  to  its  destination. 
This  was,  of  course,  refused.  General  Grant 
always  afterwards,  in  his  reports  and  in  his  me- 
moirs, showed  an  unwonted  anxiety  to  defend  his 
action  in  thus  paroling  Pemberton's  army.  Im- 
mediately on  receiving  the  news  of  the  great 
victory  General  Halleck  had  suggested  to  him  that 
this  action  might  be  construed  into  an  absolute 
release,  and  the  men  be  put  at  once  into  the  ranks 
of  the  enemy,  such  having  been  the  action  of  the 
Confederates  elsewhere.  Grant's  defense  of  this 
proceeding  was  that  he  saved  thereby  several  days 
in  the  capture  and  left  the  troops  and  the  trans- 
ports ready  for  other  service.  But  it  must  be 
counted,  on  the  whole,  an  error  of  judgment ;  for 
even  before  Pemberton,  with  his  unarmed  host, 
had  marched  away  from  Vicksburg,  Jefferson  Davis 
had  telegraphed  to  him  that  all  the  general  officers 
had  been  exchanged  and  were  released  from  their 
parole,  and  two  months  later  the  Confederate 
agent  of  exchange  notified  the  United  States  agent 
that  all  the  effective  troops  paroled  at  Vicksburg 


chap.  x.  were  declared  exchanged  and  ordered  to  duty.  In 
spite  of  the  protests  on  the  part  of  the  National 
authorities  this  lawless  proceeding  was  carried 
through,  and  Grant  confronted,  a  few  months  later, 
on  the  heights  of  Chattanooga,  some  of  the  soldiers 
to  whom  he  had  allowed  such  generous  terms  on 
the  bluffs  of  Vicksburg.  The  confusion  arising 
from  this  lasted  till  the  end  of  the  war,  and  it  was 
due  to  General  Grant's  belief  that  the  Confederate 
authorities  had  acted  in  bad  faith  in  this  matter 
that  he  maintained  so  rigid  an  attitude  in  regard  to 
the  exchange  of  prisoners  during  the  last  year  of 
the  war.  On  the  other  hand,  during  the  march 
of  the  paroled  Confederates  to  Demopolis,  the  place 
where  they  were  to  await  their  exchange,  some  of 
the  results  which  General  Grant  looked  forward  to 
became  apparent.  Grant  having  refused  Pem- 
berton  the  means  of  maintaining  order  among  his 
demoralized  troops,  the  gravest  indications  of  a 
mutinous  spirit  appeared  as  soon  as  they  left  Vicks- 
burg, and  continually  increased  as  they  moved 
along  the  hot  and  dusty  roads.  They  insulted  their 
officers,  and  at  one  time  loudly  called  upon  Pem- 
berton  to  "  come  and  be  hanged " ;  all  along  their 
route  they  scattered  the  germs  of  discouragement 
and  discontent. 

But  the  victory  was  too  great,  too  important,  and 
too  beneficent  for  criticism.  Seldom  in  the  history 
of  the  world  have  results  so  vast  been  attained  with 
equal  expenditure.  Grant  had  captured  29,491 
men,  172  cannon,  60,000  muskets,  generally  new 
arms  which  had  recently  run  the  blockade,  and 
which  were  at  once  adopted  by  the  regiments 
of  our  army  in  exchange  for  their  own  inferior 


pieces,  battered  with  use,  and  associated  with  many  chap.  x. 
victories.  General  Pemberton's  returns  for  March 
showed  61,495  actually  present,  and  of  these  all 
that  remained  saved  from  death,  wounds,  or  cap- 
ture, on  the  4th  of  July,  were  those  who  had  es-  1863. 
caped  with  Loring  from  Champion's  Hill,  and  11,000 
or  12,000  more  who  were  in  the  force  which  Sherman 
was  chasing  before  him  towards  Jackson.  The 
Confederate  cause  had  lost  not  much  less  than 
fifty  thousand  supporters  in  this  destructive  cam- 
paign, and  with  them  the  control  of  that  great 
artery  of  the  West,  the  Mississippi  River.  The 
Confederacy  was  cut  in  two  at  a  cost  to  the  Union 
of  9362  men.  There  were  still  two  years  of  labor, 
and  toil,  and  bloodshed  before  the  end  came,  but 
the  war  reached  its  crisis  and  the  fate  of  the  rebel- 
lion was  no  longer  doubtful  from  that  hour,  in  the 
afternoon  of  the  3d  of  July,  when  Grant  and  Pern-  i863. 
berton  sat  in  stern  and  joyless  conversation  be- 
neath the  oak  tree  on  the  hillside  of  Vicksburg, 
and  Pickett's  veterans  were  reeling  back,  baffled 
and  broken  by  the  guns  of  Meade  at  Gettysburg.1 

1  i '  We  had  lost  the  opportunity  army  would  be  unable  to  draw  its 
to  cut  his  communications  while  supplies  from  Bruinsburg  or 
he  was  making  his  long  march  Grand  Gulf,  and  be  driven  back 
over  the  rugged  country  between  before  crossing  the  Big  Black,  it 
Bruinsburg  and  the  vicinity  of  now  only  remained  to  increase 
Vicksburg.  Pemberton  had  by  as  far  as  possible  the  relieving 
wise  prevision  endeavored  to  se-  army,  and  depend  upon  it  to  break 
cure  supplies  sufficient  for  the  the  investment.  The  ability  of 
duration  of  an  ordinary  siege,  the  Federals  to  send  reenforce- 
and,  on  the  importance  which  he  ments  was  so  much  greater  than 
knew  the  Administration  attached  ours  that  the  necessity  for  prompt 
to  the  holding  of  Vicksburg,  he  action  was  fully  realized;  there- 
relied  for  the  cooperation  of  a  re-  fore,  when  General  Johnston,  on 
lieving  army  to  break  any  invest-  May  9,  was  ordered  to  proceed 
ment  which  might  be  made,  to  Mississippi  he  was  directed  to 
Disappointed  in  the  hope  which  I  take  from  the  Army  of  the  Ten- 
had  entertained  that  the  invading  nessee     three     thousand     good 



Chap.  X.  troops,  and  informed  that  he 
would  find  reinforcements  from 
General  Beauregard.  On  May 
12  a  dispatch  was  sent  to  him 
at  Jackson,  stating  :  '  In  addition 
to  the  5000  men  originally  or- 
dered from  Charleston  (Beaure- 
gard) about  4000  more  will 
follow.  I  fear  more  cannot  be 
spared  to  you.'  On  May  22  I 
sent  the  following  dispatch  to 
General  Bragg  at  Tullahoma, 
Tennessee :  '  The  vital  issue  of 
holding  the  Mississippi  at  Vicks- 

burg  is  dependent  on  the  success 
of  General  Johnston  in  an  attack 
on  the  investing  force.  The  in- 
telligence from  there  is  discour- 
aging.   Can  you  aid  him  ? ' 

"  To  this  he  replied  on  the  23d 
of  May,  1863: 

"  '  Sent  3500  with  the  general, 
three  batteries  of  artillery,  and 
2000  cavalry  since ;  will  dispatch 
6000  more  immediately.' "  — 
"Kise  and  Fall  of  the  Confed- 
erate Government,"  by  Jefferson 
Davis.   Vol.  II.,  p.  411. 



THE  great  work  of  freeing  the  Mississippi  was  chap.  xi. 
not  complete  when  the  flags  of  truce  fluttered 
from  the  works  of  Vicksburg.  Two  hundred  miles 
below,  the  Confederate  flag  still  waved  defiantly 
from  the  stronghold  of  Port  Hudson.  A  brief 
review  of  the  state  of  things  in  the  Department  of 
the  Gulf  is  necessary  to  explain  the  circumstances 
under  which  this  last  river  fortress  fell.  General 
Banks  had  been  dispatched  to  the  Department  of 
the  Gulf  in  the  autumn  of  1862.  He  carried  with 
him  from  New  York  a  strong  force  of  troops  —  not 
much  less  than  20,000  men  —  and  instructions  to 
advance  up  the  Mississippi  with  the  forces  he  took 
and  those  he  should  find  in  Louisiana,  to  act  in 
cooperation  with  General  Grant  to  clear  the  river ; 
after  which  he  was  to  establish  a  line  of  land  com- 
munications from  New  Orleans  to  Vicksburg,  and 
then  to  plant  himself  in  the  Eed  Eiver  country  in 
such  a  manner  as  to  protect  Louisiana  and  Ar- 
kansas, and  form  a  basis  for  future  operations 
against  Texas ;  a  subject  which,  in  view  of  our  re- 
lations with  Mexico,  greatly  occupied,  at  that  time, 
the  mind  of  the  President.  Before  he  sailed  he  Nov.,  1862. 
made  so  large  a  requisition  for  supplies  of  all  sorts 



chap.  xi.  as  to  strike  the  President  with  dismay.  He  sent 
it  back  to  the  general  with  this  sermon  of  kindly 
severity : 

"Early  last  week  you  left  me  in  high  hope, 
with  your  assurance  that  you  would  be  off  with 
your  expedition  at  the  end  of  that  week,  or  early 
in  this.  It  is  now  the  end  of  this,  and  I  have  just 
been  overwhelmed  and  confounded  with  the  sight 
of  a  requisition  made  by  you  which,  I  am  assured, 
cannot  be  filled  and  got  off  within  an  hour  short 
of  two  months.  I  inclose  you  a  copy  of  the  requi- 
sition, in  some  hope  that  it  is  not  genuine  —  that 
you  have  never  seen  it.  My  dear  general,  this  ex- 
panding and  piling  up  of  impedimenta  has  been,  so 
far,  almost  our  ruin,  and  will  be  our  final  ruin  if  it 
is  not  abandoned.  If  you  had  the  articles  of  this 
requisition  upon  the  wharf,  with  the  necessary 
animals  to  make  them  of  any  use,  and  forage  for 
the  animals,  you  could  not  get  vessels  together 
in  two  weeks  to  carry  the  whole,  to  say  nothing 
of  your  twenty  thousand  men;  and,  having  the 
vessels,  you  could  not  put  the  cargoes  aboard  in 
two  weeks  more.  And,  after  all,  where  you  are 
going  you  have  no  use  for  them.  When  you  parted 
with  me  you  had  no  such  ideas  in  your  mind.  I 
know  you  had  not,  or  you  could  not  have  expected 
to  be  off  so  soon  as  you  said.  You  must  get  back  to 
something  like  the  plan  you  had  then,  or  your  ex- 
pedition is  a  failure  before  you  start.  You  must 
be  off  before  Congress  meets.  You  would  be 
better  off  anywhere,  and  especially  where  you  are 
going,  for  not  having  a  thousand  wagons  doing 
nothing  but  hauling  forage  to  feed  the  animals 
that  draw  them,  and  taking  at  least  two  thousand 

POET    HUDSON  313 

men  to  care  for  the  wagons  and  animals  who  other-   chap.  xi. 
wise  might  be  two  thousand  good  soldiers.    Now, 
dear  general,  do  not  think  this  is  an  ill-natured    to  Ba2?s, 
letter ;  it  is  the  very  reverse.     The  simple  publica-       186222' 
tion  of  this  requisition  would  ruin  you."  ms. 

General  Banks  wasted  no  time  after  his  arrival 
at  New  Orleans,  which  was  about  the  middle  of  De- 
cember. Before  disembarking  his  troops,  he  sent 
10,000  of  them,  under  General  Cuvier  Grover,  to 
take  possession  of  Baton  Eouge,  as  Grover  did 
not  consider  himself  strong  enough  at  the  moment 
to  take  Port  Hudson,  which  was  twenty-five  miles 
further  up  the  river.  The  next  movement  Banks 
made  was  not  so  judicious:  harassed  by  the  en-  toHanX*, 
treaties  of  General  Andrew  J.  Hamilton,  the  military    aV  k 

Vol.  XV. 

governor  of  Texas,  and  a  rather  disreputable  lot  of  pp.  200, 261. 
local  politicians  whom  Hamilton  kept  about  him, 
he  sent  a  small  detachment  to  take  possession  of 
Galveston  on  the  Texan  coast,  which,  as  soon  as  it 
landed,  was  captured  by  an  overwhelming  force  of  volxxvl, 
Confederates  under  J.  B.  Magruder,  the  gunboat     pim,*! 
Harriet  Lane  being  taken  at  the  same  time  and  her 
gallant  commander,  J.  M.  Wainwright,  killed.    This       isea. 
happened  on  January  1st ;  an  inauspicious  opening 
for  the  New  Year.   Later  in  the  same  month  General 
Banks  set  on  foot  an  expedition  to  move  up  the 
Bayou  Teche,  and,  in  connection  with  another  force, 
which  was  to  leave  the  Mississippi  Eiver  at  Plaque- 
mines, to  take  the  post  at  Butte- a-la-Rose.    But 
the  Bayou  Plaquemines  was  found  to  be  absolutely 
impassable,  and  the  expedition  was  finally  aban- 
doned, at  the  request  of  Admiral  Farragut,  who 
was  proposing  to  run  past  the  Port  Hudson  bat- 
teries,   for    the    purpose   of   patroling    the    river 


chap,  xl    between  that  point  and  Vicksburg,  and  who  asked 
Banks,      General    Banks    to    make    a    demonstration    by 

Report,  J 

Apw16k1865,  ^an(^  t°  assist  him.  This  he  did,  moving  in  the 
partL^1^!  rear  °f  ^or^  Hudson  on  the  14th,  and  occupy- 
ing the  attention  of  the  enemy  by  slight  skir- 
mishing, while  Farragut,  with  the  Hartford  and 
Mar.i4,i863.  Albatross,  successfully  passed  the  batteries  on  the 
river,  the  rest  of  his  fleet,  however,  having  failed 
to  follow  him.  Banks,  not  having  the  force  to 
make  a  serious  attack  on  the  Confederate  works, 
brought  his  men  back  to  Baton  Eouge,  and  himself 
returned  to  New  Orleans.  He  was  criticized  in  the 
report  of  the  general-in-chief  for  not  having  in- 
vested Port  Hudson  at  that  time;  but  General 
Halleck  was  manifestly  in  error  in  his  censure,  as 
the  rebel  forces  at  Port  Hudson  were  then  at  their 
maximum ;  the  official  returns  for  that  month  show- 
ing a  total  of  20,000  men,  with  16,000  ready  for 

The  Confederate  forces  in  Louisiana  were,  at 
that  time,  commanded  by  General  Richard  Taylor. 
They  had  a  post  called  Fort  Bisland  at  Berwick,  at 
the  western  terminus  of  the  railroad  connecting 
New  Orleans  and  Brashear  City ;  they  had  full  com- 
mand of  the  country  from  that  point  to  Alexandria, 
where  a  strong  work  called  Fort  De  Russey  com- 
manded the  Red  River.  It  was  to  break  up  the 
rebel  force  upon  this  line  that  Banks  had  projected 
the  movement  in  the  winter,  and  he  now  made 
preparations,  as  promptly  as  possible,  considering 
the  difficulties  under  which  he  labored  from  defi- 
ciency of  transportation,  to  resume  that  interrupted 
1863.  enterprise.  He  started  on  the  11th  of  April  with 
about  17,000  men,  and,  after  a  sharp  skirmish,  his 

POKT    HUDSON  315 

troops  captured  Fort  Bisland ;  the  Confederates   chap.  xi. 
retreating    northward   to    Opelousas.    Bants  fol- 
lowed in  keen  pursuit,   and  took  Opelousas  on 
the  20th  of  April;  Butte-a-la-Rose  was  captured       i863. 
at  the  same  time  by  the  gunboats,  and  Banks,  mov- 
ing northward,  arrived  on  the  9th  of  May  at  Alex- 
andria, driving  the  Confederates  northwestward  to 
Shreveport.    Farragut's  vessels,  strongly  reenf orced 
by  Porter,  joined  the  troops  at  Alexandria,  and  a 
very  large  extent  of  Eastern  Louisiana  was  thus 
practically  restored  to  the  possession  of  the  Union. 
Banks  had  acted  with  promptness  and  vigor,  and,     Banks, 
with  a  loss  of  only  about  600  men,  he  had  captured  AprliMsk 
2000  prisoners  and  twenty-two  guns,  and  had  taken  voi.xxvi. 
or  destroyed  great  quantities  of  property  of  value    pp-  10» xi 
to  the  enemy. 

This  enterprise,  however  successful  and  judi- 
cious as  it  is  now  seen  to  be,  did  not  meet  the 
approval  of  the  general-in-chief,  whose  mind  was 
fixed  upon  the  purpose  of  a  junction  between 
Grant  and  Banks,  to  act  successively  against  Port 
Hudson  and  Vicksburg.  General  Banks  and  Gen- 
eral Grant,  during  the  months  of  March  and 
April,  were  continually  in  correspondence,  with 
the  purpose  of  effecting  this  object,  but,  with  the 
utmost  good-will  on  both  sides,  it  was  found  to  be 
impracticable.  In  the  first  place,  the  difficulties 
of  communication  between  the  two  generals  were 
enormous.  Their  letters  were  weeks  in  reaching 
each  other,  and  every  movement  proposed  in  one 
became  obsolete  long  before  the  answer  was  re- 
ceived. From  this  cause  a  serious  misunder- 
standing arose  between  Halleck,  Grant,  and  Banks, 
for  which  neither  of   the  three  can  be  properly 


chap.  xi.  blamed.  Grant  made  a  conditional  promise  of 
reinforcements  to  Banks  in  a  letter  of  the  23d 
1863.  of  March;  bnt  Banks  received  it  on  the  21st  of 
April,  after  the  situation  was  materially  changed. 
Banks  wrote  to  Grant  on  the  10th  of  April,  telling 
him  when  he  could  join  him,  and  with  what  force ; 
but  this  letter  came  to  the  hands  of  Grant  only 
after  the  victory  of  Port  Gibson  had  opened  to 
Grant  the  way  to  Jackson.  While  Grant  was  con- 
centrating his  forces  at  Grand  Gulf,  he  sent  a  dis- 
patch to  Banks,  engaging  to  send  him  an  army 
corps  to  Bayou  Sara  by  the  25th,  to  cooperate  with 
him  on  Port  Hudson,  and  asking  if,  after  the  reduc- 
tion of  Port  Hudson,  Banks  could  assist  him  at 
Vicksburg.  A  month  passed  before  the  dispatch 
reached  Banks,  and,  being  repeated  to  him  from 
New  Orleans  without  giving  date,  he  naturally 
understood  the  25th  to  mean  the  25th  of  May,  and 
so  answered  that  he  would  be  there  "  probably  by 
the  25th,  certainly  by  the  1st,"  meaning  the  1st  of 
June.  But  as  we  have  seen,  before  this  answer 
reached  the  hands  of  Grant,  he  was  far  on  his  way 
towards  the  capital  of  Mississippi,  all  thought  of 
waiting  for  Banks's  assistance  having  long  ago 
passed  from  his  mind.  He  responded  instantly, 
however,  explaining  why  he  had  not  waited  for 
Banks,  and  urged  Banks  either  to  join  him  or  send 
all  the  force  he  could  spare  to  cooperate  in  the  great 
struggle.  This  dispatch  was  promptly  delivered, 
reaching  Banks  at  Alexandria  on  the  12th  of  May. 
He  answered,  regretting  the  impossibility  of  join- 
ing Grant,  for  the  perfectly  valid  reason  that  he 
had  neither  water  nor  land  transportation  to  make 
the  movement.     He  gave  General  Grant,  in  this 

PORT    HUDSON  317 

letter,1  a  full  and  accurate  account  of  his  situation,  chap.  xi. 
and  announced  to  him  his  intention  of  investing  May^ises. 
Port  Hudson,  which  was  unquestionably  the  wisest  pp01^  J& 
thing  he  could  do.2 

Banks  put  his  troops  at  once  in  motion  across  the 
Atchafalaya  on  the  19th  of  May,  marched  down 
the  bank  of  the  Mississippi  to  a  point  opposite 
Bayou  Sara,  where  they  were  slowly  and  toil- 
somely ferried  across  the  river,  and  then  moved 
swiftly  to  Port  Hudson,  arriving  there  on  the 
24th  of  May,  and  meeting  C.  C.  Augur's  division, 
which  had  been  directed  to  join  him  from  Baton 
Rouge.  The  junction  was  effected  successfully 
after  a  slight  skirmish  with  the  enemy,  whom 
Augur  promptly  repulsed.  The  works  of  Port 
Hudson  were  very  strong;  too  strong,  as  it  ap- 
peared in  the  end,  to  justify  an  assault  from  a  force 
so  little  superior,  as  was  Banks's,  to  that  of  the 
enemy.  But  the  same  consideration  which  impelled 
General  Grant  twice  to  assault  the  works  of  Vicks- 
burg  induced  Banks  to  take  the  same  action.  He 
assaulted  on  the  25th,  immediately  after  his  arrival, 
and  again  upon  the  14th  of  June;  the  result  of 
these  two  attacks  was  precisely  the  same  as  in  the 

1  In  one  of  Banks's  letters  occurs  communicate  with  us  in  the  same        Banks 

a  phrase  which  shows  the  dim-  manner."  AtoUIo' 

culty  of  communication  between        2  "  To    avoid    mistake,    I    di-  1863. 

these    two    generals,    who  were  rected  Brigadier-General  William     _  y*  ^ 

only  two  hundred  miles  apart :  Dwight  to  report  our  condition  to        p."  296.  "' 

"  We  shall  endeavor  to  establish  General    Grant    in    person    and 

communication     with     Admiral  solicit     his     counsel.       General 

Farragut  near  Bayou  Sara,  but  Dwight  returned  with  the  advice 

the  opening  of  the  levee  opposite  that  I  attack  Port  Hudson  with- 

Port  Hudson  may  make  it  impos-  out  delay,  and  that  he  would  give 

sible.     If  so,  we  will  communi-  me  five  thousand  men,  but  that  I 

cate  with  you  freely  by  way  of  should    not    wait    for    them." — 

New  York,  as  to  our  progress.  Banks,  Eeport,   April  6,  1865. 

I  shall  be  very  glad  if  you  will  W.  R.  Vol.  XXVI.,  Parti.,  p.  12. 






chap.  xi.  case  of  Grant ;  no  benefit  was  derived  from  them, 
except  a  slight  advance  in  position,  which,  how- 
ever, did  not  compensate  for  the  terrible  loss  of 
life  involved.  The  curious  parallelism  between  the 
cases  of  the  two  commanders  is  continued  also  to  the 
extent  of  their  losses:  about  four  thousand  men 
were  lost  in  the  assaults  at  Vicksburg,  and  nearly  the 
same  number  at  Port  Hudson.  Siege  operations  were 
then  resumed,  the  investment  rendered  absolutely 
complete,  and  the  garrison  in  Port  Hudson  held 
with  a  steadily  tightening  grasp  until  the  end. 
Banks  was  not  left  to  complete  the  capture  of  the 
place  at  his  leisure.  He  had  not  only  the  care  of 
the  enemy  inside  the  works  upon  his  mind,  but  he 
was  painfully  drawn  in  two  other  directions  at 
once.  General  Halleck  was  writing  dispatch  after 
dispatch x  commanding  him  with  the  most  cutting 
emphasis  to  go  to  the  assistance  of  Grant.  General 
W.  H.  Emory,  whom  he  had  left  in  charge  at  New 
Orleans,  was  sending  the  most  importunate  appeals  to 
him  to  return  to  that  city,  or  all  would  be  lost.  Even 
while  the  Confederate  troops  were  marching  out  of 
the  works  at  Vicksburg,  Emory  wrote :  "  I  respect- 
fully suggest  that  unless  Port  Hudson  be  already 
jiu^ses  ta^en?  you  can  on^y  save  tlris  city  by  sending  me 
volxxvl,  reinforcements  immediately  and  at  any  cost.  It  is 
F&ll"  a  choice  between  Port  Hudson  and  New  Orleans." 
But,  disregarding  the  importunities  from  both 
quarters  —  both  imperfectly  advised  of  the  real 
state  of    affairs  —  Banks    pursued    the    judicious 

l  "I  have  sent  dispatch  after  direct   violation   of  his  instruc- 

dispatch  to  General  Banks  to  join  tions.    If  possible,  send  him  this 

you.    Why  he  does  not,  I  cannot  dispatch."  —  Halleck    to    Grant, 

understand.    His  separate  oper-  June  2, 1863.  W.  R.,Vol.  XXIV., 

ation  upon  Port  Hudson    is  in  Part  I.,  p.  40. 


PORT    HUDSON  .  321 

course  of  standing  by  the  work  in  hand.    The  chap.  xi. 
danger  to  which  General  Emory  referred  was  by  no 
means  imaginary.    New  Orleans  was  more  severely 
menaced  than  at  any  other  time  during  the  war. 

General  Taylor,  after  the  unsuccessful  attack  upon 
Milliken's  Bend,  had  returned  to  Alexandria  and 
organized  a  considerable  force,  variously  estimated 
at  from  3000  to  5000  men.  With  this  he  had  moved, 
in  two  detachments,  upon  Berwick  Bay.  He  sent 
Colonel  J.  P.  Major,  with  a  force  of  cavalry,  by  way 
of  Plaquemines,  to  attack  Brashear  City  in  the  rear, 
while,  with  Generals  Alfred  Mouton  and  Thomas 
Green,  he  moved  his  main  force  down  the  Teche,  and 
the  two  forces  came  together  on  the  24th,  exactly  at  June,  i863. 
the  time  ordered.  Taylor  captured  the  place,  taking  w.  R. 
several  hundred  invalid  and  convalescent  prisoners  xxvi., 
and  a  large  amount  of  valuable  stores.  He  then  sent  p.  210." 
General  Green,  assisted  by  Major's  cavalry,  to  Don- 
aldsonville,  midway  between  New  Orleans  and  Port 
Hudson,  while  he  pushed  another  party  to  within 
twenty-five  miles  of  New  Orleans,  creating  little  less 
than  a  panic  in  the  city,  which  justified  General 
Emory's  dispatch  to  Banks.  On  the  28th  Green 
attacked  Donaldsonville,  which  was  protected  by  a 
small  earthwork  and  garrisoned  by  only  225  men  of 
the  Twenty-eighth  Maine  regiment,  under  Major  Report! 
J.  D.  Bullen.  The  assaulting  force  was  about  ten 
times  that  of  the  defenders.  They  attacked  a  little 
after  midnight,  and  met  with  a  severe  repulse  at  the 
hands  of  the  gallant  little  garrison  and  the  gunboats 
in  the  Mississippi.  They  withdrew  several  miles  down 
the  river,  and  there  erected  batteries  which,  if  they 
could  have  been  made  permanent,  would  have 
placed  Banks's  army  and  the  city  of  New  Orleans 

Vol.  VII— 21 


chap.  xi.  in  a  most  critical  position.  But  the  tremendous 
events  which  were  taking  place  along  the  river 
rendered  the  well-laid  plan  of  Taylor  of  little  avail. 
When  the  great  news  of  Vicksburg  arrived  in  the 
Union  camp  around  Port  Hudson,  it  was  greeted 
with  the  thunder  of  artillery  and  the  joyous  shouts 
of  the  Northern  soldiers.  The  Confederate  pickets, 
who  had  already  established  the  same  social  rela- 
tions, modified  by  rifle  practice,  which  had  been  so 
long  in  force  at  Vicksburg,  inquired  the  cause  of 
this  rejoicing,  and  General  Gardner  became  thus 
informed  of  the  uselessness  of  further  resistance. 
1863.  He  surrendered  the  place  on  the  9th  of  July. 
Weitzel  and  Grover  were  at  once  sent  down  to 
Donaldsonville,  and,  after  a  sharp  engagement, 
in  which  neither  side  gained  any  special  advan- 
tage, the  Confederates  withdrew  to  Brashear  City, 
whither  they  were  not  very  vigorously  pursued. 
Banks  retook  the  place  on  the  22d  of  July,  and 
Taylor  moved  northward  along  the  line  of  the 
Teche,  where  he  passed  the  winter. 

The  fruits  of  Banks's  victory  were  about  six  thou- 
sand prisoners  actually  paroled.  If  we  add  to  this 
the  500  sick  and  wounded  in  the  hospitals  and 
nearly  800  lost  during  the  siege,  it  will  be  seen  that 
the  campaign  of  Port  Hudson  added  6340  men 
to  the  grand  aggregate  taken  from  the  Confederacy 
in  this  summer's  work.  They  lost  fifty-one  pieces 
of  artillery  and  over  five  thousand  small  arms.1 

It  seemed  as  if  the  stars  in  their  courses  were 
fighting  to  make  everything,  East  and  West,  gild 

rxxvi         *  ^eneral  Banks  says  in  his  of-    prisoners ;  a  force,  he  says,  equal 
Part  I.,  '    ficial  report  that  his  army  cap-    to  his  own  at  the  time  of  the  sur- 
P- 17.        tured  in  this  campaign  10,584    render. 

PORT    HUDSON  323 

with  new  luster  the  anniversary  of  American  inde-  chap,  xl 
pendence.  One  of  the  most  brilliant  of  the  minor 
victories  of  the  war  was  gained  at  Helena,  Arkan- 
sas, on  the  west  bank  of  the  Mississippi,  on  the  4th 
of  July.  General  Holmes  had  asked  and  received  im. 
permission  to  take  that  place,  in  the  middle  of  June, 
and  had  mustered  for  the  purpose  an  army  of 
nearly  ten  thousand  men.  The  garrison  of  Helena 
consisted  of  a  division  of  the  Thirteenth  Corps  and 
a  brigade  of  cavalry  numbering  in  all  four  thou- 
sand men,  commanded  by  Major-General  B.  M. 
Prentiss.  Holmes  felt  so  sure  of  victory  that  he 
doubtless  selected  the  4th  of  July  for  his  attack  in 
a  mere  spirit  of  bravado.  He  assaulted  at  daylight 
with  converging  columns,  two  of  which  made  con- 
siderable impression  upon  the  outworks,  but  never 
reached  the  town.  The  defense  of  the  Union 
troops  was  singularly  skillful  and  energetic,  and 
after  a  few  hours  of  fighting,  Holmes,  finding  him- 
self utterly  defeated,  retired  at  half -past  ten.  The 
little  army  of  Prentiss  was,  of  course,  too  small  to 
pursue.  The  last  Confederate  attempt  to  hold  the 
Mississippi  River  thus  ended  in  a  complete  and 
most  humiliating  repulse. 

Sherman,  who  had  been  ordered  by  Grant  to 
hold  himself  in  readiness  to  set  out  in  search  of 
Johnston,  the  moment  Vicksburg  fell,  had  obeyed 
the  order  with  such  efficiency  that,  although  the 
city  surrendered  two  days  before  the  proposed  as- 
sault, Sherman  was  ready  to  start  within  an  hour 
from  the  time  when  the  Confederates  stacked  their 
arms.  He  took  with  him  a  splendid  army,  consist- 
ing of  the  Thirteenth,  Fifteenth,  and  Ninth  Corps ; 
holding  the  center  with  his  own,  with  Ord  on  the 



Chap.  XI. 



Vol.  I., 

p.  331. 

July,  1863. 

"  Narrative 
of  Military 
p.  207. 

right  and  Parke  on  the  left.  In  this  order  they 
marched  rapidly  on  the  track  of  Johnston,  over 
roads  thick  with  dust  and  in  weather  of  tropical 
heat.  There  was  very  little  water  to  be  had  along 
the  route,  and  Johnston  had  taken  pains  to  spoil 
even  that  scanty  supply,  wherever  possible,  by 
driving  cattle,  hogs,  and  sheep  into  the  ponds,  and 
shooting  them  there.  But  these  were  light  afflic- 
tions to  Sherman's  hardy  veterans,  and  they  ar- 
rived on  the  morning  of  the  9th,  in  robust  health 
and  high  spirits,  before  the  field  works  in  front  of 
Jackson.  Here  General  Johnston  awaited  them  in 
the  full  hope  and  confidence  that  they  would  be 
compelled  to  attack  him  for  want  of  water,  and 
safely  established  behind  his  earthworks,  he 
counted  upon  inflicting  a  severe  repulse  upon 
them.  But  when  two  days  had  passed,  and  instead 
of  a  dash  upon  his  fortifications  he  found  that 
Sherman  had  quietly  extended  his  flanks  to  the 
Pearl  Eiver  above  and  below  the  town,  and  was 
preparing  intrenchments  for  his  formidable  artil- 
lery, Johnston's  heart  failed  him,  and  he  tele- 
graphed to  Jefferson  Davis  that  it  would  be  impos- 
sible, for  want  of  supplies,  to  stand  a  siege,  and 
that  therefore  unless  the  enemy  attacked  him  he 
must  abandon  the  place.  Hot  skirmishing  began 
on  the  12th,  with  continually  increasing  fire  of  ar- 
tillery. General  Lauman,  with  misdirected  zeal, 
went  too  near  the  Confederate  works  and  was  se- 
verely handled  —  both  in  front  and  in  rear,  we  may 
say,  for  at  General  Ord's  request  he  was  relieved 
from  his  command;  a  punishment  rather  too 
prompt  and  severe  for  a  single  error  of  judgment 
on  the  part  of  an  officer  of  great  courage  and 

POET    HUDSON  325 

merit.  An  attempt  was  next  made  by  General  chap.  xi. 
Johnston  to  cut  off  Sherman's  artillery  train,  which 
his  scouts  had  reported  as  approaching  by  the 
Jackson  road.  But  this  failing,  and  Johnston 
having  heard  that  the  train  was  near  the  Fed- 
eral camp,  he  decided  to  evacuate  the  place,  and 
accomplished  it  with  that  singular  skill  and  ad- 
dress which  never  failed  him  on  such  occasions. 
He  crossed  the  river  upon  bridges  inside  of  his 
lines  without  exciting  the  least  suspicion  on  the 
part  of  his  accomplished  adversary,  and  Sherman, 
for  the  second  time,  entered  the  capital  of  Missis- 
sippi, from  which  Johnston  had  retired  in  perfect 
safety  and  was  now  miles  away.  He  was  followed 
a  little  distance,  but  Sherman,  concluding  that 
pursuit  in  that  torrid  weather  would  be  fatal  to  his 
army,  returned  to  Vicksburg  and  went  into  camp. 

The  great  work  was  done.    The  army  of  the 
Tennessee  and  its  commanders  received  the  en- 
thusiastic plaudits  of  a  grateful  country.    Grant 
was  made  a  major-general  in   the  regular  army, 
Sherman  and  McPherson  were  promoted  to   be 
brigadiers  in  the  regular  service;  there  was  no 
cloud  upon  their  satisfaction  over  a  great  duty 
well  performed;  as  General  Halleck  said  in  his 
dispatch  of  congratulation,  they  could  feel  that 
they  had  "  deserved  the  gratitude  of  your  country,      w  R 
and  it  will  be  the  boast  of  your  children  that  their     xxiv., 
fathers  were  of  the  heroic  army  which  reopened     pJm&" 
the  Mississippi  River." 

Up  to  this  time  no  general  in  the  field  had  shown 
less  thought  than  Grant  of  his  personal  future,  or 
of  those  prospects  which  are  so  frequently  pre- 
sented to  the  imagination  of  successful  military 



Chap.  XI. 


to  Grant, 

Aug.  1, 1863. 

W.  R. 

Vol.  XX  VI., 

Part  I., 

p.  63. 

leaders ;  but  it  is  recorded  that  he  said  many  years 
afterwards  in  one  of  those  characteristic  phrases  of 
simple  directness  peculiar  to  him,  "After  the 
capture  of  Vicksburg  I  regarded  it  as  probable 
that  it  would  fall  to  my  lot  to  command  the  army 
and  to  end  the  war." 

One  of  the  minor  crosses  which  successful  sol- 
diers are  called  upon  to  bear  is  the  imputation 
that  the  plans  of  their  triumphant  campaigns  were 
suggested  by  subordinates  or  dictated  by  superiors. 
But  in  the  case  of  General  Grant,  fortunate  in  this 
as  in  everything  else,  the  door  was  forever  closed 
against  such  an  imputation  by  the  swift  and  gen- 
erous testimony  of  his  superiors  and  his  most 
intimate  subordinate ;  Sherman  lost  no  time  in  say- 
ing that  the  plan  of  the  Vicksburg  campaign  was 
Grant's,  and  Grant's  alone ; *  General  Halleck  gave 
him  this  unqualified  and  ungrudging  praise :  "  In 
boldness  of  plan,  rapidity  of  execution,  and  bril- 
liancy of  results  these  operations  will  compare  most 
favorably  with  those  of  Napoleon  about  Ulm"; 
while  from  the  President  came  the  following  letter, 
which  we  believe  no  other  ruler  that  ever  lived 
would  have  had  the  magnanimity  to  write : 

"  My  dear  General  :  I  do  not  remember  that  you 
and  I  ever  met  personally.  I  write  this  now  as  a 
grateful  acknowledgment  for  the  almost  inestimable 
service  you  have  done  the  country.  I  wish  to  say  a 
word  further.    When  you  first  reached  the  vicinity 

1  "  The  campaign  of  Vicksburg    own  handwriting,  prescribing  the 

in  its  conception  and  execution 
belonged  exclusively  to  General 
Grant,  not  only  in  the  great 
whole,  but  in  the  thousands  of 
its  details.  I  still  retain  many  of 
his  letters  and  notes,  all  in  his 

routes  of  march  for  divisions  and 
detachments,  specifying  even  the 
amount  of  food  and  tools  to  be 
carried  along."  —  William  T. 
Sherman,  "  Memoirs."  Vol.  I., 
p.    334. 

PORT    HUDSON  327 

of  Vicksburg,  I  thought  you  should  do  what  you   chap.  xi. 
finally  did  —  march  the  troops  across  the  neck,  run 
the  batteries  with  the  transports,  and  thus  go  be- 
low ;  and  I  never  had  any  faith,  except  a  general 
hope  that  you  knew  better  than  I,  that  the  Yazoo 
Pass  expedition  and  the  like  could  succeed.    When 
you  got  below  and  took  Port  Gibson,  Grand  Gulf, 
and  vicinity,  I  thought  you  should  go  down  the 
river  and   join    General  Banks,   and  when    you 
turned  northward,  east  of  the  Big  Black,  I  feared 
it  was  a  mistake.    I  now  wish  to  make  the  personal    to  Grant, 
acknowledgment  that  you  were  right  and  I  was      ^sra.  ' 

There  remained  but  one  act  to  close  the  mighty 
drama  of  the  struggle  for  the  great  river  of  the 
West,  which  for  two  years  had  shaken  its  bluffs 
with  the  thunder  of  artillery  and  had  reddened  its 
turbid  waters  with  the  blood  of  brothers.  This  was 
accomplished  on  the  16th  of  July,  when  the  steam-  i863. 
boat  Imperial  quietly  landed  at  the  wharf  in  New 
Orleans,  arriving  direct  from  Saint  Louis,  laden 
with  a  commercial  cargo,  having  passed  over  the 
whole  course  of  that  great  thoroughfare  of  com- 
merce undisturbed  by  a  hostile  shot  or  challenge 
from  bluff  or  levee  on  either  shore. 



chap.  xn.  f^i  ENEKAL  BUENSIDE  took  command  of  the 
w.r.  vJT  Department  of  the  Ohio  (March  25,  1863) 
xxiil,  with  a  zeal  against  the  insurgents  only  heightened 
p.  11."  by  his  defeat  at  Fredericksburg.  He  found  his 
department  infested  with  a  peculiarly  bitter  opposi- 
tion to  the  Government  and  to  the  prosecution  of 
the  war,  amounting,  in  his  opinion,  to  positive  aid 
and  comfort  to  the  enemy ;  and  he  determined  to 
use  all  the  powers  confided  to  him  to  put  an  end 
to  these  manifestations,  which  he  considered  treason- 
able ;  and  in  the  execution  of  this  purpose  he  gave 
great  latitude  to  the  exercise  of  his  authority.  He 
was  of  a  zealous  and  impulsive  character,  and 
weighed  too  little  the  consequences  of  his  acts 
where  his  feelings  were  strongly  enlisted.  He 
1863.  issued,  on  the  13th  of  April,  an  order,  which 
obtained  wide  celebrity  under  the  name  of  General 
Order  No.  38,  announcing  that  "  all  persons  found 
within  our  lines,  who  commit  acts  for  the  benefit 
of  the  enemies  of  our  country,  will  be  tried  as 
spies  or  traitors,  and,  if  convicted,  will  suffer 
death."  He  enumerated,  as  among  the  acts  which 
came  within  the  view  of  this  order,  the  writing  and 
carrying  of  secret  letters;    passing  the  lines  for 



treasonable  purposes ;  recruiting  for  the  Conf eder-  chap,  xii 
ate  service ;  harboring,  concealing,  or  feeding 
public  enemies  within  our  lines;  and,  rising  be- 
yond this  reasonable  category  of  offenses,  he  de- 
clared that  "  the  habit  of  declaring  sympathy  for 
the  enemy  will  not  be  allowed  in  this  department. 
Persons  committing  such  offenses  will  be  at  once 
arrested,  with  a  view  to  being  tried  as  above  stated, 
or  sent  beyond  our  lines  into  the  lines  of  their 
friends.''  And  in  conclusion  he  added  a  clause 
which  may  be  made  to  embrace,  in  its  ample 
sweep,  any  demonstration  not  to  the  taste  of  the 
general  in  command :  "  It  must  be  distinctly  under- 
stood that  treason,  expressed  or  implied,  will  not 
be  tolerated  in  this  department." 

This  order  at  once  excited  a  most  furious  denun- 
ciation on  the  part  of  those  who,  either  on  account 
of  their  acts  or  their  secret  sympathies,  felt  them- 
selves threatened  by  it,  and  many  even  of  those 
opponents  of  the  Administration  who  were  entirely 
loyal  to  the  Union *  criticized  the  order  as  illegal  in 
itself  and  liable  to  lead  to  dangerous  abuses.  The 
most  energetic  and  eloquent  of  General  Burnside's 
assailants  was  Clement  L.  Vallandigham,  who  had 
been  for  several  years  a  Member  of  Congress  from 
Ohio,  whose  intemperate  denunciation  of  the  Gov- 
ernment had  caused  him  the  loss  of  his  seat,2  and 


April  13, 
863.    W.  E. 

Part  II., 

p.  237. 

1  One  of  Burnside's  own  staff- 
officers,  Colonel  J.  M.  Cutts, 
wrote  to  the  President  July  30 : 
"Order  38  has  kindled  the  fires 
of  hatred  and  contention.  Burn- 
side  is  foolishly  and  unwisely  ex- 
cited, and  if  continued  in  com- 
mand will  disgrace  himself,  you, 
and  the  country,  as  he  did  at 
Fredericksburg."    MS. 

2  At  the  first  threat  of  civil 
war  Vallandigham  made  haste  to 
profess  himself  opposed  to  any 
forcible  execution  of  the  laws. 
He  declared  the  States  of  the 
Union  the  only  judges  of  the  suf- 
ficiency and  justice  of  secession, 
and  promised  he  would  never 
vote  one  dollar  of  money  whereby 
one    drop    of    American    blood. 



Chap.  XII. 

May  l,  1863. 

"  Globe," 
Feb.  7, 1861, 
pp.  794,  795. 

whose  defeat  had  only  heightened  the  acerbity  of 
his  opposition  to  the  war.  G-eneral  Order  No.  38 
furnished  him  a  most  inspiring  text  for  assailing 
the  Government,  and  he  availed  himself  of  it  in 
Democratic  meetings  throughout  the  State.  A 
rumor  of  his  violent  speeches  came  to  the  ears 
of  the  military  authorities  in  Cincinnati,  and  an 
officer  was  sent,  in  citizens'  clothes,  to  attend  a 
meeting  which  was  held  at  Mount  Yernon,  Ohio, 

should  be  shed  in  civil  war ;  and    believe   to-day,   that  the  South 

in  February  preceding  the  inaugu- 
ration of  Mr.  Lincoln  he  proposed 
to  amend  the  Constitution  by 
dividing  the  Union  into  four  sec- 
tions, giving  each  section  a  veto 
on  the  passage  of  any  law  or  the 
election  of  Presidents  or  Vice- 
Presidents,  and  allowing  to  each 
State  the  right  of  secession  on 
certain  specified  terms.  Having 
thus  early  taken  his  stand,  he 
retained  his  position  with  more 
consistency  than  was  shown  by 
any  other  member  of  his  party. 
After  his  defeat  by  General  R.  C. 
Schenck,  in  his  canvass  for  re- 
election to  Congress,  he  renewed 
his  attacks  upon  the  Government 
and  its  war  policy  with  exagger- 
ated vehemence. 

In  a  speech  delivered  in  the 
House  of  Representatives  on 
the  14th  of  January,  1863,  he 
boasted  that  he  was  of  that  num- 
ber who  had  opposed  abolitionism 
or  the  political  development  of 
the  antislavery  sentiment  of  the 
North  and  West  from  the  begin- 
ning. He  called  it  the  develop- 
ment of  the  spirit  of  intermed- 
dling, whose  children  are  strife 
and  murder.  He  said:  " On  the 
14th  of  April  I  believed  that  coer- 
cion would  bring  on  war,  and  war 
disunion.  More  than  that,  I  be- 
lieved, what  you  all  in  your  hearts 

could  never  be  conquered — never. 
And  not  that  only,  but  I  was 
satisfied  .  .  .  that  the  secret  but 
real  purpose  of  the  war  was  to 
abolish  slavery  in  the  States, 
.  .  .  and  with  it  .  .  .  the  change 
of  our  present  democratical  form 
of  government  into  an  imperial 
despotism.  .  .  I  did  not  support 
the  war ;  and  to-day  I  bless  God 
that  not  the  smell  of  so  much  as 
one  drop  of  its  blood  is  upon 
my  garments.  .  .  Our  Southern 
brethren  were  to  be  whipped  back 
into  love  and  fellowship  at  the 
point  of  the  bayonet.  Oh,  mon- 
strous delusion !  .  .  .  Sir,  history 
will  record  that,  after  nearly  six 
thousand  years  of  folly  and  wick- 
edness in  every  form  and  admin- 
istration of  government,  theo- 
cratic, democratic,  monarchic, 
oligarchic,  despotic,  and  mixed, 
it  was  reserved  to  American 
statesmanship,  in  the  nineteenth 
century  of  the  Christian  era,  to 
try  the  grand  experiment,  on  a 
scale  the  most  costly  and  gigantic 
in  its  proportions,  of  creating 
love  by  force  and  developing  fra- 
ternal affection  by  war ;  and  his- 
tory will  record,  too,  on  the  same 
page,  the  utter,  disastrous,  and 
most  bloody  failure  of  the  experi- 
ment." —  Appendix,  "  Globe," 
Jan.  14,  1863,  pp.  53,  54. 


where  Mr.  Vallandigham    and    other    prominent  chap.  xii. 
Democrats  were  the  orators  of  the  day.    The  meet- 
ing was  an  enthusiastic  one,  full  of  zeal  against  the 
Government  and  of  sympathy  with  the  South. 

Mr.  Vallandigham,  feeling  his  audience  thor-  Mayi,i863. 
oughly  in  harmony  with  him,  spoke  with  unusual 
fluency  and  bitterness,  greatly  enjoying  the  ap- 
plause of  his  hearers,  and  unconscious  of  the 
presence  of  the  unsympathizing  recorder,  who 
leaned  against  the  platform  a  few  feet  away,  and 
took  down  some  of  his  most  malignant  periods. 
He  said  it  was  the  design  of  those  in  power  to 
usurp  a  despotism  ;  that  it  was  not  their  intention 
to  effect  a  restoration  of  the  Union ;  that  the  Gov- 
ernment had  rejected  every  overture  of  peace  from 
the  South  and  every  proposition  of  mediation  from 
Europe ;  that  the  war  was  for  the  liberation  of 
the  blacks  and  the  enslavement  of  the  whites  ;  that 
General  Order  No.  38  was  a  base  usurpation  of 
arbitrary  power ;  that  he  despised  it,  and  spat  upon 
it,  and  trampled  it  under  his  feet.  Speaking  of  the 
conscription  act,  he  said  the  people  were  not  de- 
serving to  be  free  men  who  would  submit  to  such 
encroachment  on  their  liberties.  He  called  the 
President  "  King  Lincoln,"  and  advised  the  people 
to  come  up  together  at  the  ballot-box  and  hurl  the 
tyrant  from  his  throne.  The  audience  and  the 
speaker  were  evidently  in  entire  agreement.  The 
crowd  wore  in  great  numbers  the  distinctive  badges 
of  "  Copperheads  "  and  "  Butternuts  " ;  and  amid 
cheers  which  Vallandigham's  speech  elicited,  the 
witness  heard  a  shout  that  "Jeff  Davis  was  a 
gentleman,  which  was  more  than  Lincoln  was." 

The  officer  returned  to  Cincinnati,  and  made  his 


chap.  xii.  report.  Three  days  later,  on  the  evening  of  the  4th 
1863.  of  May,  a  special  train  went  np  to  Dayton,  with  a 
company  of  the  115th  Ohio,  to  arrest  Mr.  Vallan- 
digham.  Eeaching  Dayton,  they  went  at  once  to 
his  house,  where  they  arrived  shortly  before  day- 
light, and  demanded  admittance.  The  orator  ap- 
peared at  an  upper  window,  and,  being  informed  of 
their  business,  refused  to  allow  them  to  enter.  He 
began  shouting  in  a  loud  voice;  pistols  were  fired 
from  the  house ;  the  signals  were  taken  up  in  the 
town,  and,  according  to  some  preconcerted  ar- 
rangement, the  fire-bells  began  to  toll.  There  was 
evidently  no  time  to  be  lost.  The  soldiers  forced 
their  way  into  the  house  ;  Vallandigham  was  com- 
pelled to  dress  himself  in  haste,  and  was  hurried  to 
the  cars,  and  the  special  train  pulled  out  of  the  sta- 
tion before  any  considerable  crowd  could  assemble. 
Arriving  at  Cincinnati,  Vallandigham  was  con- 
signed to  the  military  prison,  and  kept  in  close 
confinement.  During  the  day  he  contrived,  how- 
ever, to  issue  an  address  to  the  Democracy  of 
Ohio,  saying:  "I  am  here  in  a  military  bastile 
for  no  other  offense  than  my  political  opinions,  and 
the  defense  of  them,  and  of  the  rights  of  the  people, 
and  of  your  constitutional  liberties.  .  .  I  am  a 
Democrat  —  for  the  Constitution,  for  law,  for  the 
Union,  for  liberty  —  this  is  my  only  'crime.'  .  . 
Meanwhile,  Democrats  of  Ohio,  of  the  Northwest, 
of  the  United  States,  be  firm,  be  true  to  your  prin- 
ciples, to  the  Constitution,  to  the  Union,  and  all 

cyS-    will  yet  be  well.  .  .  To  you,  to  the  whole  people, 
d4»i863,    ,     mr        T  /„    '  r    r   ' 

p.  474.      to  Time,  1  again  appeal." 

While  he  was   issuing  these  fervid  words  his 

friends  in  Dayton  were  making  their  demonstration 


in  another  fashion.  The  town  was  filled  with  ex-  chap.  xii. 
citement  all  day.  Crowds  gathered  on  the  streets, 
discussing  and  denouncing  the  arrest.  Great 
numbers  of  wagons  loaded  with  rural  friends  and 
adherents  of  the  agitator  came  in  from  the  country; 
and,  the  excitement  increasing  as  night  came  on, 
a  crowd  of  several  hundred  men  moved,  hooting 
and  yelling,  to  the  office  of  the  Republican  news- 
paper. Some  one  threw  a  brick  at  the  building, 
then  a  volley  of  pistol-shots  was  fired,  and  the 
excitement  of  the  crowd  wreaked  itself  on  the 
unoffending  building,  which  was  first  sacked, 
and  then  destroyed  by  fire.  Later  in  the  night  a 
company  of  troops  arrived  from  Cincinnati,  and 
before  midnight  the  crowd  was  dispersed,  and 
order  was  restored. 

Mr.  Vallandigham  was  promptly  tried  by  a  mili- 
tary commission,  convened  May  6  by  General  i863. 
Burnside,  consisting  of  officers  of  his  staff  and  of 
the  Ohio  and  Kentucky  volunteers.  Mr.  Vallandig- 
ham made  no  individual  objection  to  the  court,  but 
protested  that  they  had  no  authority  to  try  him ; 
that  he  was  in  neither  the  land  nor  naval  forces  of 
the  United  States,  nor  in  the  militia,  and  was  there- 
fore amenable  only  to  the  civil  courts.  This  protest 
was,  of  course,  disregarded,  and  his  trial  went  on. 
It  was  proved  that  he  made  the  speech  of  which  we 
have  already  given  an  abstract.  He  called  as  wit- 
ness in  his  defense  S.  S.  Cox,  who  was  also  one 
of  the  orators  of  the  occasion,  and  who  testified 
that  the  speech  of  Mr.  Vallandigham,  though 
couched  in  strong  language,  was  in  no  respect 
treasonable.  When  the  evidence  was  all  in,  the 
accused  entered  a  protest  against  the  entire  pro- 


chap.  xii.  ceeding,  repeating  the  terms  of  his  original  protest, 
and  adding  that  his  alleged  offense  itself  was  not 
known  to  the  Constitution  nor  to  any  law  thereof. 
"It  is,"  he  said,  "words  spoken  to  the  people  of 
Ohio,  in  an  open  and  public  political  meeting,  law- 
fully and  peacefully  assembled  under  the  Constitu- 
tion and  upon  full  notice.  It  is  words  of  criticism 
i>f  the  public  policy  of  the  public  servants  of  the 
people,  by  which  policy  it  was  alleged  that  the 
welfare  of  the  country  was  not  promoted.  It  was 
an  appeal  to  the  people  to  change  that  policy,  not 
by  force,  but  by  free  elections  and  the  ballot-box. 
It  is  not  pretended  that  I  counseled  disobedience 
to  the  Constitution  or  resistance  to  laws  and  lawful 
cyXp®1-  authority.  I  never  have.  Beyond  this  protest,  I 
p.  480.  '    have  nothing  further  to  submit." 

There  were  no  speeches  either  in  prosecution  or 
in  defense.  When  the  court  was  cleared  it  re- 
mained in  deliberation  for  three  hours,  and  returned 
a  decision  that  the  accused  was  guilty  of  the  charge 
of  "publicly  expressing,  in  violation  of  G-eneral 
Order  No.  38,  from  Headquarters  Department  of 
the  Ohio,  his  sympathy  for  those  in  arms  against 
the  Government  of  the  United  States,  declaring 
disloyal  sentiments  and  opinions,  with  the  object 
and  purpose  of  weakening  the  power  of  the  Gov- 
ernment in  its  efforts  to   suppress  an  unlawful 

ibid.  p.  484.  rebellion."  They  therefore  sentenced  him  to  be 
placed  in  close  confinement  in  some  fortress  of  the 
United  States,  to  be  designated  by  the  command- 
ing officer  of  the  department,  there  to  be  kept 
during  the  continuance  of  the  war.  General  Burn- 
side  approved  the  finding  and  the  sentence,  and 
designated  Fort  Warren,   Boston  Harbor,  as  the 


place    of    confinement    in    accordance    with    the  chap,  xil 

But  before  the  finding  of  the  commission  was 
made  public,  George  E.  Pugh,  as  counsel  for 
Vallandigham,  applied  to  Judge  Leavitt  of  the 
United  States  Circuit  Court,  sitting  in  Cincinnati, 
for  a  writ  of  habeas  corpus.  On  the  11th  of  May  i863. 
the  case  was  heard,  and  extended  arguments  were 
made  by  Mr.  Pugh  in  favor  of  the  motion,  and  by 
A.  F.  Perry,  who  appeared  on  behalf  of  General 
Burnside,  against  it.  But  the  most  noticeable 
feature  of  the  trial  was  a  written  address  from  Gen- 
eral Burnside  himself,  presented  to  the  district 
attorney,  in  which  he  explained  and  defended  his 
action.  He  began  by  saying  that  he  was  prohibited 
by  law  and  by  his  duty  from  criticizing  the  policy 
of  the  Government;  that  such  abstention  from 
injurious  criticism  was  binding  on  every  one  in  the 
service.    He  then  went  on  to  say : 

If  it  is  my  duty  and  the  duty  of  the  troops  to  avoid 
saying  anything  that  would  weaken  the  army  by  prevent- 
ing a  single  recruit  from  joining  the  ranks,  by  bringing 
the  laws  of  Congress  into  disrepute,  or  by  causing  dis- 
satisfaction in  the  ranks,  it  is  equally  the  duty  of  every 
citizen  in  the  Department  to  avoid  the  same  evil.  .  .  If  I 
were  to  find  a  man  from  the  enemy's  country  distributing, 
in  my  camps,  speeches  of  their  public  men  that  tended  to 
demoralize  the  troops,  or  to  destroy  their  confidence  in 
the  constituted  authorities  of  the  Government,  I  would 
have  him  tried  and  hung,  if  found  guilty,  and  all  the  hc5?c.l. 
rules  of  modern  warfare  would  sustain  me.  Why  should  vaiiandig- 
such  speeches  from  our  own  public  men  be  allowed?  p.  41. 

He  even  went  so  far  as  to  disapprove  the  use  of 
party  names  and  party  epithets,  saying :  "  The 
simple  names  of  '  patriot '  and '  traitor,'  are  compre- 
hensive enough." 


chap.  xii.  /f  the  people  do  not  approve  that  policy  they  can  change 
the  constitutional  authorities  of  that  Government,  at  the 
proper  time  and  by  the  proper  method.  Let  them  freely 
discuss  the  policy  in  a  proper  tone  j  but  my  duty  re- 
quires me  to  stop  license  and  intemperate  discussion, 
which  tend  to  weaken  the  authority  of  the  Government 
and  army :  whilst  the  latter  is  in  the  presence  of  the 
enemy  it  is  cowardly  so  to  weaken  it.  .  .  There  is  no  fear 

Hon?c.  l.    °f  the  People  losing  their  liberties ;  we  all  know  that  to 

ha^'^f"    be  the  cry  of  demagogues,  and  none  but  the  ignorant  will 

pp.  h,  43.''  listen  to  it. 

Judge  Humphrey  H.  Leavitt  denied  the  motion 
for  habeas  corpus  in  a  long  decision,  in  which  he 
thoroughly  reviewed  the  legal  points  involved  in 
the  case.  The  essential  point  of  his  decision  was 
this :  General  Burnside,  by  order  of  the  President, 
had  been  appointed  to  the  military  supervision  of 
the  Department  of  the  Ohio,  including,  among  other 
States,  the  State  of  Ohio.  The  precise  extent  of  his 
authority  was  not  known  to  the  court,  but  it  might 
properly  be  assumed  that  the  President  had  clothed 
him  with  all  the  powers  necessary  to  the  efficient 
discharge  of  his  duties.  It  is  not  claimed  that  in 
time  of  war  the  President  is  above  the  Constitu- 
tion. He  derives  his  power,  on  the  contrary, 
expressly  from  the  provision  of  that  instrument 
that  he  shall  be  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  army 
and  navy.  The  Constitution  does  not  specify  the 
powers  he  may  rightfully  exercise  in  this  character, 
nor  are  they  denned  by  legislation.  No  one  denies, 
however,  that  the  President,  in  his  character,  is 
invested  with  very  high  powers,  which  he  has  ex- 
ercised, as  Commander-in-Chief,  from  time  to  time 
during  the  present  rebellion.  His  acts  in  this 
capacity  must  be  limited  to  such  as  are  deemed 



essential  to  the  protection  and  preservation  of  the  chap.  xii. 
Government  and  the  Constitution.  And  in  decid 
ing  what  he  may  rightfully  do  under  this  power, 
where  there  is  no  express  legislative  declaration, 
the  President  is  guided  solely  by  his  own  judgment, 
and  is  amenable  only  for  an  abuse  of  his  authority 
by  impeachment.  The  occasion  which  calls  for 
the  exercise  of  this  power  exists  only  from  the 
necessity  of  the  case ;  and  when  the  necessity  exists 
there  is  a  clear  justification  of  the  act.  The  judge 
concludes  that  if  this  view  of  the  power  of  the 
President  is  correct,  it  implies  the  right  to  arrest 
persons  who,  by  their  mischievous  acts  of  disloy- 
alty, impede  or  endanger  the  military  operations 
of  the  Government.     He  continued: 

And  if  the  necessity  exists,  I  see  no  reason  why  the 
power  does  not  attach  to  the  officer  or  general  in  com- 
mand of  a  military  department.  The  only  reason  why 
the  appointment  is  made  is,  that  the  President  cannot  dis- 
charge the  duties  in  person ;  he,  therefore,  constitutes  an 
agent  to  represent  him,  clothed  with  the  necessary  power 
for  the  efficient  supervision  of  the  military  interests  of 
the  Government  throughout  the  department.  .  .  In  the  hoS^c  l 
exercise  of  his  discretion  he  [General  Burnsidel  issued    vaiiandig- 

ham  "  etc 

the  order  (No.  38)  which  has  been  brought  to  the  notice  PP.  267, 268.' 
of  the  court. 

Judge  Leavitt  would  not  comment  on  that  order, 
but  only  referred  to  it  because  General  Burnside 
had  stated  his  motives  for  issuing  it,  and  also 
because  it  was  for  its  supposed  violation  that  he 
ordered  the  arrest  of  Mr.  Vallandigham.  He  had 
done  this  under  his  responsibility  as  the  command- 
ing general  of  the  department,  and  in  accordance 
with  what  he  supposed  to  be  the  power  vested  in 
him  by  the  appointment  of  the  President.  It  was 
Vol.  VIL—  22 


chap.  xn.  virtually  an  act  of  the  Executive  Department 
under  the  power  vested  in  the  President  by  the 
Constitution,  and  the  court  therefore  refused  to 
annul  or  reverse  it. 

The  arrest,  trial,  and  sentence  of  Vallandigham 
took  the  President  somewhat  by  surprise,  and  it 
was  only  after  these  proceedings  were  consum- 
mated that  he  had  an  opportunity  seriously  to  con- 
sider the  case.  If  he  had  been  consulted  before 
any  proceedings  were  initiated  there  is  reason  to 
believe  he  would  not  have  permitted  them ; 1  but 
finding  himself  in  the  presence  of  an  accomplished 
fact,  the  question  now  given  him  to  consider  was, 
whether  he  should  approve  the  sentence  of  the 
court,  or,  by  annulling  it,  weaken  the  authority  of 
the  general  commanding  the  district,  and  greatly 
encourage  the  active  and  dangerous  secession  ele- 
ment in  the  West.  He  concluded  to  accept  the  act  of 
Burn  side  as  within  his  discretion  as  military  com- 
mander ;  but,  as  the  imprisonment  of  Vallandigham 
in  the  North  would  have  been  a  constant  source 
of  irritation  and  political  discussion,  the  President 
concluded  to  modify  his  sentence  to  one  which 
could  be  immediately  and  finally  executed,  and  the 
execution  of  which  would  excite  far  less  sympathy 
with  the  prisoner,  and,  in  fact,  seriously  damage 
his  prestige  and   authority  among  his  followers. 

1  General  Bumside,  feeling,  af-  know.     All  the  Cabinet  regretted 

ter  the  trial,  that  his  act  had  sub-  the   necessity   of    arresting,   for 

jected  the  Administration  to  vio-  instance,     Vallandigham,     some 

lent    attack,    thought  proper  to  perhaps    doubting    there  was   a 

signify  to  the  President  that  his  real  necessity  for  it ;  but,  being 

resignation  was  at  his  service  if  done,   all  were  for    seeing  you 

desired,  to  which  the  President  through    with    it."  —  Lincoln  to 

answered:    "When  I  shall  wish  General Burnside,  May 29, 1863. 

to  supersede  you  I  will  let  you  MS. 


The  method  of  punishment  which  he  chose  was  chap.  xii. 
doubtless  suggested  by  a  paragraph  in  Burnside's 
Order  No.  38,  which  had  mentioned,  as  a  form  of 
punishment  for  the  declaration  of  sympathy  with 
the  enemy,  deportation  "  beyond  our  lines  into 
the  lines  of  their  friends."  He  therefore  commuted 
the  sentence  of  Vallandigham,  and  directed  that  he 
be  sent  within  the  Confederate  lines.1  This  was 
done  about  a  fortnight  after  the  court  martial. 
Mr.  Vallandigham  was  sent  to  Tennessee,  and,  on 
the  25th  of  May,  was  escorted  by  a  small  cavalry  i863. 
force  to  the  Confederate  lines  near  Murfreesboro. 
After  a  short  parley  with  the  rebel  videttes,  who 
made  no  objection  to  receiving  the  prisoner,  he 
was  delivered  into  the  hands  of  a  single  private 
soldier  of  an  Alabama  regiment,  Mr.  Vallandigham 
making  a  formal  protest  to  the  effect  that  he  was 
within  the  Confederate  lines  by  force  and  against 
his  will,  and  that  he  surrendered  as  a  prisoner  of 

The  arrest  and  sentence  of  this  distinguished 
Democrat  produced  a  profound  sensation  through- 
out the  country.  It  occasioned  general  rejoicing 
in  the  South.  The  Government  in  Eichmond  saw 
in  it  a  promise  of  counter-revolution  in  the  North, 
and  some  of  the  Confederate  generals  built  upon  it 
the  rosiest  hopes  for  future  campaigns.    General 

1  The  order  under  which  Val-  guard,  to   the    headquarters   of 

landigham  was  sent  south  was  General  Kosecrans,  to  be  put  by         1863. 

dated  the  19th  of  May  and  trans-  him   beyond   our  military  lines, 

mitted      by      telegraph      from  and  in  case  of  his  return  within 

Washington    to    General  Burn-  our  lines,   he  be    arrested    and 

side :  kept  in  close  custody  for  the  term 

"The  President  directs  that,  specified  in  his  sentence." — Mc- 

without  delay,  you  send  C.  L.  Pherson,  "  History  of  the  Rebel- 

Vallandigham,      under      secure  lion,"  p.  162. 


chap.  xn.  Beauregard,  writing  to  a  friend  in  Mobile,  said 
the  Yankees,  by  sending  Vallandigham  into 
Bragg's  lines,  had  indicated  a  point  of  attack.  He 
suggested  that,  Hooker  being  disposed  of  for  the 
next  six  months  at  least,  Lee  should  act  on  the 
defensive,  and  send  Bragg  thirty  thousand  men  to 
take  the  offensive  at  once.  Let  Bragg — or  some 
better  soldier  who  is  sufficiently  shadowed  forth  in 
parenthesis  —  "  destroy  or  capture  (as  it  is  done  in 
Europe)  Rosecrans's  army ;  then  march  into  Ken- 
tucky ;  raise  thirty  thousand  men  more  there  and 
in  Tennessee;  then  get  into  Ohio  and  call  upon 
the  friends  of  Vallandigham  to  rise  for  his  defense 
and  support ;  then  call  upon  Indiana,  Illinois,  and 
Missouri  to  throw  off  the  yoke  of  the  accursed 
Yankee  nation ;  then w  —  his  plan  growing  more 
and  more  magnificent  as  it  took  grandeur  and 
color  under  his  pen  —  call  "  upon  the  whole  North- 
west to  join  in  the  movement,  form  a  Confederacy 
of  their  own,  and  join  us  by  a  treaty  of  alliance, 
Beaure-  defensive  and  offensive.  What  would  then  become 
vmere,     of  tne  Northeast !  »  demanded  the  doughty  Creole. 

i863.ayw?k  "  How  long  would  it  take  us  to  bring  it  back  to  its 

Vol.  XIV.,  q  „ 

P.  955.      senses  f  " 

The  feeling  in  the  North,  if  less  exuberant  in 
its  expression,  was  equally  serious.  No  act  of 
the  Government  has  been  so  strongly  criticized, 
and  none  having  relation  to  the  rights  of  an  in- 
dividual created  a  feeling  so  deep  and  so  wide- 
spread. No  further  legal  steps  were  taken  in  the 
case,  except  an  application  which  was  made  by 
Vallandigham's  counsel  for  a  writ  of  certiorari 
to  bring  up  the  proceedings  of  the  military  com- 
mission for  review  in  the  Supreme  Court  of  the 


United  States.  This  motion  was  denied,  on  the  evi-  chap.  xii. 
dent  ground  that  no  such  writ  could  be  issued  by 
the  Supreme  Court  to  any  such  military  commis- 
sion, as  the  court  had  no  jurisdiction  over  the  pro- 
ceedings of  such  a  tribunal.  But  in  the  Democratic 
newspapers,  in  public  meetings,  in  a  multitude  of 
leading  articles  and  pamphlets,  the  question  was 
discussed  with  the  greatest  earnestness,  and  even 
violence,  the  orators  and  politicians  of  the  Demo- 
cratic party  regarding  the  incident  as  the  most 
valuable  bit  of  political  capital  which  had  fallen  to 
them  during  the  year.  Even  some  of  the  most 
loyal  newspapers  of  the  North  joined  in  the 
general  attack,  saying  that,  by  the  statutes,  Val- 
landigham  was  a  prisoner  of  state,  and  that  the 
Secretary  of  War  was  bound  to  report  him  as  such 
to  the  circuit  judge  of  the  district  in  which  his  sup- 
posed offenses  were  committed,  to  be  regularly  tried 
by  the  civil  tribunal.  But  the  principal  criticism 
was,  of  course,  confined  to  the  ranks  of  the  opposi- 
tion. Their  newspapers  and  public  men  vied  with 
one  another  in  a  chorus  of  condemnation.  To  a 
meeting,  held  in  Albany  on  the  16th  of  May,  Gov-  i863. 
ernor  Seymour  wrote : 

It  is  an  act  which  has  brought  dishonor  upon  our 
country;  it  is  full  of  danger  to  our  persons  and  to  our 
homes  j  it  hears  upon  its  front  a  conscious  violation  of 
law  and  of  justice.  .  .  The  transaction  involved  a  series 
of  offenses  against  our  most  sacred  rights.  It  interfered 
with  the  freedom  of  speech ;  it  violated  our  rights  to  be 
secure  in  our  homes  against  unreasonable  searches  and 
seizures ;  it  pronounced  sentence  without  a  trial,  save  one 
which  was  a  mockery  —  which  insulted  as  well  as 
wronged.  .  .  If  this  proceeding  is  approved  by  the  Gov- 
ernment, and  sanctioned  by  the  people,  it  is  not  merely  a 


Chap.  xii.  step  towards  revolution  —  it  is  revolution  $  it  will  not 
only  lead  to  military  despotism  —  it  establishes  military 
despotism.  .  .  If  it  is  upheld,  our  liberties  are  over- 
thrown. .  .  The  action  of  the  Administration  will  deter- 
mine, in  the  minds  of  more  than  one-half  of  the  people  of 
the  loyal  States,  whether  this  war  is  waged  to  put  down 

"  Annual  rebellion  at  the  South,  or  to  destroy  free  institutions  at 
cycio-      the  North.    We  look  for  its  decision  with  most  solemn 

paedia,"  ..    .       , 

1863,  p.  689.     SOllCltude. 

The  meeting  to  which  Governor  Seymour  sent 
this  passionate  address  passed  a  series  of  resolu- 
tions insisting  upon  their  loyalty  and  the  services 
they  had  rendered  the  country,  but  demanding 
that  the  "Administration  shall  be  true  to  the  Con- 
stitution, shall  recognize  and  maintain  the  rights 
of  the  States  and  the  liberties  of  the  citizen,  shall 
everywhere,  outside  of  the  lines  of  necessary  mili- 
tary occupation  and  the  scenes  of  insurrection, 
exert  all  its  powers  to  maintain  the  supremacy  of 
the  civil  over  military  law";  and  in  view  of  these 
principles  they  denounced  "the  recent  assump- 
tion of  a  military  commander  to  seize  and  try  a 
citizen  of  Ohio,  Clement  L.  Vallandigham,  for  no 
other  reason  than  words  addressed  to  a  public 
meeting  in  criticism  of  the  course  of  the  Admin- 
istration, and  in  condemnation  of  the  military 
orders  of  that  general."  The  resolutions  further 
set  forth  that  such  an  assumption  of  military 
power  strikes  a  fatal  blow  at  the  supremacy  of 
law.  They  enumerated  the  provisions  of  the  Con- 
stitution denning  the  crime  of  treason,  and  the 
defenses  to  which  those  accused  of  that  crime  are 
entitled,  and  said  "that  these  safeguards  of  the 
rights  of  the  citizen  against  the  pretensions  of  arbi- 
trary power  were  intended  more  especially  for  his 


protection  in  times  of  civil  commotion."    They  chap.  xii. 
further  resolved  : 

That  in  the  election  of  Governor  Seymour  the  people  of 
this  State,  by  an  emphatic  majority,  declared  their  con- 
demnation of  the  system  of  arbitrary  arrests,  and  their 
determination  to  stand  by  the  Constitution.  .  .  And  that, 
regarding  the  blow  struck  at  a  citizen  of  Ohio  as  aimed  at 
the  rights  of  every  citizen  of  the  North,  we  denounce  it 
as  against  the  spirit  of  our  laws  and  Constitution,  and 
most  earnestly  call  upon  the  President  of  the  United 
States  to  reverse  the  action  of  the  military  tribunal  which 
has  passed  a  cruel  and  unusual  punishment  upon  the    «Annual 
party  arrested,  prohibited  in  terms  by  the  Constitution,       2cUa" 
and  to  restore  him  to  the  liberty  of  which  he  has  been  1863,  p.  soo. 

A  copy  of  these  resolutions  was  sent  to  the  Presi- 
dent, and  received  his  most  careful  consideration. 
He  answered  on  the  12th  of  June,  in  a  letter  which 
demands  the  close  perusal  of  every  student  of  our 
history.  He  accepted  in  the  beginning,  and  thanked 
the  meeting  for  the  resolutions  expressing  the  pur- 
pose of  sustaining  the  cause  of  the  Union  despite 
the  folly  and  wickedness  of  any  administration. 
He  referred  to  the  safeguards  of  the  Constitution 
for  the  defense  of  persons  accused  of  treason,  and 
contended  that  these  provisions  of  the  Constitution 
had  no  application  to  the  case  in  hand.  The  ar- 
rests complained  of  were  not  made  for  the  technical 
crime  of  treason.  He  then  proceeded,  in  language 
so  terse  and  vigorous  that  it  is  difficult  to  abridge 
a  paragraph  without  positive  mutilation,  to  de- 
scribe the  circumstances  under  which  this  rebellion 
began,  and  the  hopes  of  the  insurgents,  which  were 
founded  upon  the  inveterate  respect  of  the  Ameri- 
can people  for  the  forms  of  law.    He  wrote : 


chap.  xii.  Prior  to  my  installation  here  it  had  been  inculcated 
June  12  ^na^  any  State  had  a  lawful  right  to  secede  from  the 
1863.  '  National  Union,  and  that  it  would  be  expedient  to  exer- 
cise the  right  whenever  the  devotees  of  the  doctrine 
should  fail  to  elect  a  President  to  their  own  liking.  I 
was  elected  contrary  to  their  liking;  and,  accordingly, 
so  far  as  it  was  legally  possible,  they  had  taken  seven 
States  out  of  the  Union,  had  seized  many  of  the  United 
States  forts,  and  had  fired  upon  the  United  States  flag, 
all  before  I  was  inaugurated,  and,  of  course,  before  I  had 
done  any  official  act  whatever.  The  rebellion  thus  begun 
soon  ran  into  the  present  civil  war;  and,  in  certain 
respects,  it  began  on  very  unequal  terms  between  the 
parties.  The  insurgents  had  been  preparing  for  it  for  more 
than  thirty  years,  while  the  Government  had  taken  no 
steps  to  resist  them.  The  former  had  carefully  considered 
all  the  means  which  could  be  turned  to  their  account.  It 
undoubtedly  was  a  well-pondered  reliance  with  them  that, 
in  their  own  unrestricted  efforts  to  destroy  Union,  Con- 
stitution, and  law  all  together,  the  Government  would, 
in  a  great  degree,  be  restrained  by  the  same  Constitution 
and  law  from  arresting  their  progress.  Their  sympa- 
thizers pervaded  all  departments  of  the  Government  and 
nearly  all  communities  of  the  people.  From  this  material, 
under  cover  of  " liberty  of  speech,"  "liberty  of  the 
press,"  and  "  habeas  corpus,"  they  hoped  to  keep  on  foot 
amongst  us  a  most  efficient  corps  of  spies,  informers,  sup- 
pliers, and  aiders  and  abettors  of  their  cause  in  a  thou- 
sand ways.  They  knew  that  in  times  such  as  they  were 
inaugurating,  by  the  Constitution  itself,  the  "  habeas 
corpus  "  might  be  suspended  j  but  they  also  knew  they 
had  friends  who  would  make  a  question  as  to  who  was 
to  suspend  it;  meanwhile,  their  spies  and  others  might 
remain  at  large  to  help  on  their  cause.  Or  if,  as  has 
happened,  the  Executive  should  suspend  the  writ,  with- 
out ruinous  waste  of  time,  instances  of  arresting  innocent 
persons  might  occur,  as  are  always  likely  to  occur  in  such 
cases,  and  then  a  clamor  could  be  raised  in  regard  to  this, 
which  might  be  at  least  of  some  service  to  the  insurgent 
cause.  It  needed  no  very  keen  perception  to  discover 
this  part  of  the  enemy's  programme,  so  soon  as,  by  open 
hostilities,  their  machinery  was  fairly  put  in  motion. 


Yet,  thoroughly  imbued  with  a  reverence  for  the  guaran-  chap.  xii. 
teed  rights  of  individuals,  I  was  slow  to  adopt  the  strong 
measures  which  by  degrees  I  have  been  forced  to  regard 
as  being  within  the  exceptions  of  the  Constitution,  and 
as  indispensable  to  the  public  safety.  Nothing  is  better 
known  to  history  than  that  courts  of  justice  are  utterly 
incompetent  to  such  cases.  Civil  courts  are  organized 
chiefly  for  trials  of  individuals  or,  at  most,  a  few  indivi- 
duals acting  in  concert,  and  this  in  quiet  times  and  on 
charges  of  crimes  well  denned  in  the  law.  Even  in  times 
of  peace  bands  of  horse  thieves  and  robbers  frequently 
grow  too  numerous  and  powerful  for  the  ordinary  courts 
of  justice.  But  what  comparison  in  numbers  have  such 
bands  ever  borne  to  the  insurgent  sympathizers,  even  in 
many  of  the  loyal  States  ?  Again,  a  jury  too  frequently 
has  at  least  one  member  moro  ready  to  hang  the  panel 
than  to  hang  the  traitor.  And  yet  again,  he  who  dis- 
suades one  man  from  volunteering,  or  induces  one  sol- 
dier to  desert,  weakens  the  Union  cause  as  much  as  he 
who  kills  a  Union  soldier  in  battle.  Yet  this  dissuasion 
or  inducement  may  be  so  conducted  as  to  be  no  denned 
crime  of  which  any  civil  court  would  take  cognizance. 

He  then  applied  to  the  ease  in  hand  the  clear 
provision  of  the  Constitution  that,  "  the  privilege 
of  the  writ  of  habeas  corpus  shall  not  be  sus- 
pended unless,  when  in  cases  of  rebellion  or  in- 
vasion, the  public  safety  may  require  it,"  and  went 
on  to  say : 

This  is  precisely  our  present  case  —  a  case  of  rebellion 
wherein  the  public  safety  does  require  the  suspension. 
Indeed,  arrests  by  process  of  courts  and  arrests  in 
cases  of  rebellion  do  not  proceed  altogether  upon  the 
same  basis.  The  former  is  directed  at  the  small  percen- 
tage of  ordinary  and  continuous  perpetration  of  crime, 
while  the  latter  is  directed  at  sudden  and  extensive  up- 
risings against  the  Government,  which,  at  most,  will  suc- 
ceed or  fail  in  no  great  length  of  time.  In  the  latter  case 
arrests  are  made,  not  so  much  for  what  has  been  done  as 
for  what  probably  would  be  done.  The  latter  is  more  for 
the  preventive  and  less  for  the  vindictive  than  the  former. 


chap,  xil  In  such  cases  the  purposes  of  men  are  much  more  easily 
understood  than  in  cases  of  ordinary  crime.  The  man 
who  stands  by  and  says  nothing  when  the  peril  of  his 
Government  is  discussed  cannot  be  misunderstood.  If 
not  hindered,  he  is  sure  to  help  the  enemy  ;  much  more 
if  he  talks  ambiguously  —  talks  for  his  country  with 
"  buts  »  and  "  if  s  »  and  "  ands."  Of  how  little  value  the 
constitutional  provisions  I  have  quoted  will  be  ren- 
dered, if  arrests  shall  never  be  made  until  denned  crimes 
ehall  have  been  committed,  may  be  illustrated  by  a  few 
notable  examples.  General  John  C.  Breckinridge,  Gen- 
eral Robert  E.  Lee,  General  Joseph  E.  Johnston,  General 
John  B.  Magruder,  General  William  B.  Preston, 
General  Simon  B.  Buckner,  and  Commodore  Franklin 
Buchanan,  now  occupying  the  very  highest  places  in  the 
rebel  war  service,  were  all  within  the  power  of  the  Govern- 
ment since  the  rebellion  began,  and  were  nearly  as  well 
known  to  be  traitors  then  as  now.  Unquestionably,  if  we 
had  seized  and  held  them,  the  insurgent  cause  would  be 
much  weaker.  But  no  one  of  them  had  then  committed  any 
crime  denned  in  the  law.  Every  one  of  them,  if  arrested, 
would  have  been  discharged  on  habeas  corpus  were  the 
writ  allowed  to  operate.  In  view  of  these  and  similar 
cases,  I  think  the  time  not  unlikely  to  come  when  I  shall 
be  blamed  for  having  made  too  few  arrests  rather  than 
too  many. 

Referring  to  the  charge  made  in  the  resolutions 
that  Mr.  Vallandigham  was  arrested  for  no  other 
reason  than  words  addressed  to  public  meetings  in 
criticism  of  the  course  of  the  Administration,  Mr. 
Lincoln  said: 

If  this  assertion  is  the  truth  and  the  whole  truth,  —  if 
there  was  no  other  reason  for  the  arrest, — then  I  concede 
that  the  arrest  was  wrong.  But  ...  he  [Mr.  Vallan- 
digham] was  not  arrested  because  he  was  damaging  the 
political  prospects  of  the  Administration,  or  the  personal 
interests  of  the  commanding  general,  but  because  he  was 
damaging  the  army,  upon  the  existence  and  vigor  of 
which  the  life  of  the  nation  depends.    He  was  warring 


upon  the  military,  and  this  gave  the  military  constitu-  chap.  xii. 
tional  jurisdiction  to  lay  hands  upon  him. 

If  it  could  be  shown  that  his  arrest  was  made  on 
mistake  of  fact,  the  President  would  be  glad  to 
correct  it.     But  he  said : 

Long  experience  has  shown  that  armies  cannot  be 
maintained  unless  desertion  shall  be  punished  by  the 
severe  penalty  of  death.  The  case  requires,  and  the  law 
and  the  Constitution  sanction,  this  punishment.  Must 
I  shoot  a  simple-minded  soldier  boy  who  deserts,  while  I 
must  not  touch  a  hair  of  a  wily  agitator  who  induces  him 
to  desert  t  This  is  none  the  less  injurious  when  effected 
by  getting  a  father,  or  brother,  or  friend  into  a  public 
meeting,  and  there  working  upon  his  feelings  till  he  is 
persuaded  to  write  the  soldier  boy  that  he  is  fighting  in  a 
bad  cause,  for  a  wicked  Administration  of  a  contemptible 
Government,  too  weak  to  arrest  and  punish  him  if  he 
shall  desert.  I  think  that  in  such  a  case  to  silence  the 
agitator  and  save  the  boy  is  not  only  constitutional,  but, 
withal,  a  great  mercy. 

He  then  stated  clearly  his  belief  that  certain  pro- 
ceedings are  constitutional  when,  in  cases  of  rebel- 
lion or  invasion,  the  public  safety  requires  them, 
which  would  not  be  constitutional  when,  in  absence 
of  rebellion  or  invasion,  the  public  safety  does  not 
require  them.     He  continued : 

The  Constitution  itself  makes  the  distinction,  and  I 
can  no  more  be  persuaded  that  the  Government  can 
constitutionally  take  no  strong  measures  in  time  of  rebel- 
lion because  it  can  be  shown  that  the  same  could  not  be 
lawfully  taken  in  time  of  peace,  than  I  can  be  persuaded 
that  a  particular  drug  is  not  good  medicine  for  a  sick 
man  because  it  can  be  shown  to  not  be  good  food  for  a 
well  one.  Nor  am  I  able  to  appreciate  the  danger  appre- 
hended by  the  meeting  that  the  American  people  will,  by 
means  of  military  arrests  during  the  rebellion,  lose  the 
right  of  public  discussion,  the  liberty  of  speech  and  the 
press,  the  law  of  evidence,  trial  by  jury,  and  habeas 


chap.  xii.  corpus,  throughout  the  indefinite  peaceful  future,  which 
I  trust  lies  before  them,  any  more  than  I  am  able  to 
believe  that  a  man  could  contract  so  strong  an  appetite 
for  emetics,  during  temporary  illness,  as  to  persist  in 
feeding  upon  them  during  the  remainder  of  his  healthful 

The  President  parried  the  political  thrust  in  the 
resolutions  by  reminding  the  gentlemen  of  Albany 
that,  although  they  address  him  as  "  Democrats," 
not  all  Democrats  are  of  their  way  of  thinking : 

He  on  whose  discretionary  judgment  Mr.  Vallandigham 
was  arrested  and  tried  is  a  Democrat,  having  no  old 
party  affinity  with  me;  and  the  judge  who  rejected  the 
constitutional  view  expressed  in  these  resolutions,  by  re- 
fusing to  discharge  Mr.  Vallandigham  on  habeas  corpus, 
is  a  Democrat  of  better  days  than  these,  having  received 
his  judicial  mantle  at  the  hands  of  President  Jackson. 
And  still  more,  of  all  those  Democrats  who  are  nobly 
exposing  their  lives  and  shedding  their  blood  on  the 
battlefield,  I  have  learned  that  many  approve  the  course 
taken  with  Mr.  Vallandigham,  while  I  have  not  heard  of 
a  single  one  condemning  it. 

The  President  fortified  his  argument  by  an  inci- 
dent of  pertinent  history  especially  adapted  to  touch 
the  sympathies  of  Democrats — the  arbitrary  arrests 
made  by  General  Jackson  at  New  Orleans;  his 
defiance  of  the  writ  of  habeas  corpus,  and  his  im- 
prisonment of  the  judge  who  had  issued  it.  Near 
the  close  of  this  strong  and  adroit  defense  of  the 
action  of  Burnside  the  President  made  a  remarkable 
admission  in  these  words : 

And  yet  let  me  say  that  in  my  own  discretion  I  do  not 
know  whether  I  would  have  ordered  the  arrest  of  Mr. 
Vallandigham.  While  I  cannot  shift  the  responsibility 
from  myself,  I  hold  that,  as  a  general  rule,  the  commander 
in  the  field  is  the  better  judge  of  the  necessity  in  any 
particular  case.    ,    .   It  gave  me  pain  when  I  learned  that 


Mr.  Vallandighain  had  been  arrested — that  is,  I  was  chap.  xn. 
pained  that  there  should  have  seemed  to  be  a  necessity 
for  arresting  him  —  and  it  will  afford  me  great  pleasure  to 
discharge  him  so  soon  as  I  can,  by  any  means,  believe  the 
public  safety  will  not  suffer  by  it.    I  further  say  that  as 
the  war  progresses  it  appears  to  me  opinion  and  action, 
which  were  in  great  confusion  at  first  take  shape  and  fall 
into  more  regular  channels,   so  that  the  necessity  for 
strong  dealing  with  them  gradually  decreases.    I  have 
every  reason  to  desire  that  it  should  cease  altogether,  and 
far  from  the  least  is  my  regard  for  the  opinions  and 
wishes  of  those  who,  like  the  meeting  at  Albany,  declare    uncoin  to 
their  purpose  to  sustain  the  Government  in  every  consti-     corning 
tutional  and  lawful  measure  to  suppress  the  rebellion.  8^J^JW' 
Still  I  must  continue  to  do  so  much  as  may  seem  to  be        1863.  ' 
required  by  the  public  safety. 

There  are  few  of  the  President's  state  papers 
which  produced  a  stronger  impression  upon  the 
public  mind  than  this.  Its  tone  of  candor  and 
courtesy,  which  did  not  conceal  his  stern  and 
resolute  purpose ;  his  clear  statement  of  the  needs 
of  the  country;  his  terse  argument  of  his  authority 
under  the  Constitution  to  suspend  the  writ  of 
habeas  corpus  when,  in  case  of  rebellion,  the  public 
safety  required  it ;  his  contrast  of  the  venial  crime 
of  the  simple-minded  soldier  boy,  which  was  pun- 
ished by  death,  with  the  deeper  guilt  of  the  wily 
agitator,  who  claimed  immunity  through  the  Con- 
stitution he  was  endeavoring  to  destroy;  the  strong, 
yet  humorous,  common  sense  of  his  doubt  whether 
a  permanent  taste  for  emetics  could  be  contracted 
during  a  fit  of  sickness — met  with  an  immediate 
and  eager  appreciation  among  the  citizens  of  the 
country,  and  rendered  this  letter  remarkable  in  the 
long  series  of  Mr.  Lincoln's  political  writings.  It 
is  needless  to  say  that  it  did  not  meet  with  equal 


chap.  xii.  approbation  in  all  quarters.  It  was  received  by  the 
politicians  of  New  York,  to  whom  it  was  addressed, 
with  the  gravest  displeasure.  They  answered  in 
an  angry  yet  forcible  paper,  claiming  that  the 
original  act  of  tyranny  by  which  Mr.  Vallandigham 
was  arrested  had  been  aggravated  by  the  claim  of 
despotic  power  which  they  assumed  to  find  in  the 
President's  letter.  They  wrote  with  so  much  heat 
and  feeling  that  they  hardly  paused  to  measure 
their  epithets ;  otherwise  they  would  scarcely  have 
been  guilty  of  the  impertinence  of  speaking  to  the 
President  of  his  "  pretensions  to  more  than  legal 
authority,"  and  of  criticizing  his  crystal-clear  state- 
ment as  the  "misty  and  cloudy  forms  of  expression" 
in  which  those  pretensions  were  set  forth.  But  it  is 
not  worth  while  to  rescue  either  of  these  letters 
from  the  oblivion  which  soon  overtook  them.  In 
the  words  of  Mr.  Lincoln,  on  another  occasion, 
the  world  little  noted  nor  long  remembered  them. 
Their  first  letter  had  no  function  nor  result  but  to 
call  into  being  the  President's  admirable  reply,  and 
the  second  was  little  more  than  a  cry  under  pun- 

In  the  State  of  Ohio  the  arrest  of  Mr.  Vallandig- 
ham had  precipitated  an  issue  which  was  in  its 
solution  greatly  to  the  advantage  of  the  cause  of 
1863.  the  Union.  When,  on  the  11th  of  June,  the  Demo- 
cratic Convention  of  the  State  met  at  Columbus,  it 
was  found  to  be  completely  under  the  control  of 
those  opposed  to  the  war,  and  the  excitement  con- 
sequent upon  Vallandigham's  arrest  and  banish- 
ment designated  him  as  the  only  serious  candidate 
for  the  office  of  governor.  Nominating  him  by 
acclamation  was  the  readiest  and  most  practical 


way  of  signifying  their  disapproval  of  the  proceed-  chap,  xii, 
ings  of  the  Government.  They  passed  a  series  of 
resolutions  affirming  their  devotion  to  the  Union, 
denouncing  the  arrest  and  banishment  of  Vallan- 
digham  as  a  forcible  violation  of  the  Constitution 
and  a  direct  insult  offered  to  the  sovereignty  of  the 
people  of  Ohio,  saying  that  the  Democratic  party 
was  fully  competent  to  decide  whether  Mr.  Vallan- 
digham  was  a  fit  man  to  be  nominated  for  G-ov- 
ernor,  and  that  the  attempt  to  deprive  them  of 
that  right  by  his  arrest  and  banishment  was  an 
unmerited  imputation  upon  their  intelligence  and 
loyalty.  They  therefore  called  upon  the  President 
to  restore  Mr.  Vallandigham  to  his  home  in  Ohio. 
The  committee  appointed  to  present  these  reso- 
lutions accompanied  them  with  a  long  letter,  signed 
by  the  most  prominent  Democrats  of  Ohio,  argu- 
ing, upon  lines  similar  to  those  followed  in  the 
letter  from  the  Albany  Democrats,  that  the  action 
of  the  Government  towards  Vallandigham  was 
illegal  and  unconstitutional;  that  it  had  created 
widespread  and  alarming  disaffection  among  the 
people  of  the  State;  that  it  was  not  an  offense 
against  any  law  to  contend  that  the  war  could 
not  be  used  as  a  means  of  restoring  the  Union, 
or  that  a  war  directed  against  slavery  would  in- 
evitably result  in  the  final  destruction  of  both  the 
Constitution  and  the  Union.  They  took  up  the 
President's  letter  to  the  Albany  committee,  and 
insisted  that  Mr.  Vallandigham  was  not  warring 
upon  the  military;  they  disagreed  entirely  with 
the  President  on  the  subject  of  the  suspension 
of  the  writ  of  habeas  corpus ;  they  represented  the 
President  as  claiming  that  the  Constitution  is  dif- 


chap.  xii.  ferent  in  time  of  insurrection  or  invasion  from 
what  it  is  in  time  of  peace  or  public  security,  and 
that  he  had  the  right  to  engraft  limitations  or  excep- 
tions upon  these  constitutional  guarantees  when- 
ever, in  his  judgment,  the  public  safety  required  it. 
Having  attributed  to  him  these  absurd  pretensions, 
they  proceeded  solemnly  to  deny  them,  and  ask : 

If  an  indefinable  kind  of  constructive  treason  is  to  be  in- 
troduced and  engrafted  upon  the  Constitution  unknown 
to  the  laws  of  the  land  and  subject  to  the  will  of  the 
"  Annual    President,  whenever  an  insurrection   or  invasion  shall 
cycio^      occur  in  any  part  of  this  vast  country,  what  safety  or 
isSTpfsos.  security  will  be  left  for  the  liberties  of  the  people  ? 

The  President  sent  a  reply  to  this  letter,  briefer 
than  the  one  he  had  devoted  to  Albany,  and  not  so 
full  in  its  discussion  of  the  constitutional  question 
at  issue.  For  his  views  in  this  regard  he  referred 
the  Ohio  committee  to  his  Albany  letter.  He 
simply  repudiated  the  opinions  and  intentions 
which  the  Ohio  committee  had  gratuitously  im- 
puted to  him.  But  he  assumed  the  full  responsi- 
bility for  the  exercise  of  the  enormous  powers  which 
he  believed  the  Constitution,  under  the  circum- 
stances, conferred  upon  him. 

Jli863?9'  ^ou  ask>  in  substance,  whether  I  really  claim  that  I 
may  override  all  the  guaranteed  rights  of  individuals  on 
the  plea  of  conserving  the  public  safety — when  I  may 
choose  to  say  the  public  safety  requires  it.  This  ques- 
tion, divested  of  the  phraseology  calculated  to  represent 
me  as  struggling  for  an  arbitrary  personal  prerogative, 
is  either  simply  a  question  who  shall  decide,  or  an 
affirmation  that  nobody  shall  decide,  what  the  public 
safety  does  require  in  cases  of  rebellion  or  invasion. 
The  Constitution  contemplates  the  question  as  likely  to 
occur  for  decision,  but  it  does  not  expressly  declare  who 
is  to  decide  it.    By  necessary  implication,  when  rebellion 


or  invasion  comes,  the  decision  is  to  be  made,  from  time  chap,  xil 
to  time,  and  I  think  the  man  whom,  for  the  time,  the 
people  have,  under  the  Constitution,  made  the  Commander- 
in-Chief  of  their  army  and  navy  is  the  man  who  holds 
the  power,  and  bears  the  responsibility  of  making  it.  If 
he  uses  the  power  justly,  the  same  people  will  probably 
justify  him ;  if  he  abuses  it,  he  is  in  their  hands  to  be 
dealt  with  by  all  the  modes  they  have  reserved  to  them- 
selves in  the  Constitution. 

He  disclaimed,  in  courteous  language,  any  pur- 
pose of  insult  to  Ohio  in  Mr.  Vallandigham's  case ; 
and,  referring  to  the  peremptory  request  of  the 
committee  that  Vallandigham  should  be  released 
from  his  sentence,  and  to  the  further  claim  of  the 
committee  that  the  Democracy  of  Ohio  are  loyal 
to  the  Union,  he  proposed,  on  what  he  considered 
very  easy  conditions,  to  comply  with  their  request. 
He  offered  them  the  following  propositions : 

1.  That  there  is  now  a  rebellion  in  the  United  States, 
the  object  and  tendency  of  which  is  to  destroy  the  Na- 
tional Union,  and  that,  in  your  opinion,  an  army  and 
navy  are  constitutional  means  for  suppressing  that  re- 

2.  That  no  one  of  you  will  do  anything  which,  in  his 
own  judgment,  will  tend  to  hinder  the  increase  or  favor 
the  decrease  or  lessen  the  efficiency  of  the  army  and 
navy,  while  engaged  in  the  effort  to  suppress  that  rebel- 
lion j  and  Lincoln  to 

3.  That  each  of  you  will,  in  his  sphere,  do  all  he  can  to     Stiie6 
have  the  officers,  soldiers,  and  seamen  of  the  army  and  D^ocrat? 
navy,  while  engaged  in  the  effort  to  suppress  the  rebel-     vent?o"n, 
lion,  paid,  fed,  clad,  and  otherwise  well  provided  for  and     J^£329' 

If  the  committee,  or  a  majority  of  them,  would 
write  their  names  upon  the  back  of  the  President's 
letter,  thus  committing  themselves  to  these  propo- 
sitions and  to  nothing  else,  he  would  then  publish 
Yol.  VIL— 23 


chap.  xn.  the  letter  and  the  names,  which  publication  would 
be,  within  itself,  a  revocation  of  Vallandigham's 
sentence.  This  would  leave  Mr.  Vallandigham 
himself  absolutely  unpledged ;  the  President's  ob- 
ject being  to  gain  for  the  cause  of  the  Union  so 
large  a  moral  reenforcement  from  this  clear  defini- 
tion of  the  attitude  of  the  other  gentlemen  as  to 
compensate  for  any  damage  that  Mr.  Vallandigham 
could  possibly  do  on  his  return.  The  President 
concluded  this  letter  with  the  same  frankness  that 
he  used  in  that  to  Albany.  "  Still,"  he  said,  "in 
regard  to  Mr.  Vallandigham  and  all  others,  I  must 
hereafter,  as  heretofore,  do  so  much  as  the  public 
service  may  seem  to  require."  This  overture  of 
the  President  was  promptly  rejected  by  the  com- 
mittee. They  treated  it  as  an  evasion  of  the 
questions  involved  in  the  case,  and  as  implying 
not  only  an  imputation  upon  their  own  sincerity 
and  fidelity  as  citizens  of  the  United  States,  but 
"cySo^1    also  as  a  concession  of  the  legality  of  Mr.  Vallan- 

1863?  pia807.  digham's  arrest  and  banishment. 

Evidently  nothing  could  come  from  negotiations 
between  parties  whose  points  of  view  were  so  far 
apart  as  those  of  the  President  and  the  Democratic 
leaders  in  New  York  and  Ohio.  The  case  must  be 
resolved  by  the  people  of  the  State  whose  sover- 
eignty it  was  said  had  been  violated,  and  the  issue 
was  made  in  the  clearest  possible  manner  by  the 
nomination  of  Mr.  Vallandigham  for  Governor  of 
Ohio.  The  convention  which  nominated  him  de- 
termined to  leave  no  doubt  of  their  position,  not 
only  denouncing  the  action  of  General  Burnside 
and  the  President,  but  expressing  their  deep  hu- 
miliation and  regret  at  the  failure  of  Governor 


Tod  of  Ohio  to  protect  the  citizens  of  the  State  in  chap,  xii 
the  enjoyment  and  exercise  of  their  constitutional 
rights.  The  Union  party,  meeting  at  Columbus, 
nominated  for  governor  John  Brough,  a  war  Dem- 
ocrat, and  adopted  a  brief  platform  of  unqualified 
devotion  to  the  Union,  in  favor  of  a  most  vigorous 
prosecution  of  the  war,  and  the  laying  aside  of 
personal  preferences  and  prejudices,  and  pledging 
hearty  support  to  the  President.  Upon  this  issue, 
clearly  announced  and  unflinchingly  adhered  to, 
the  canvass  proceeded  to  its  close.  Before  it 
ended,  Mr.  Vallandigham  himself  intervened  once 
more  —  not  in  person,  indeed,  but  by  letters  from 
Canada.  On  entering  the  rebel  lines  he  had  gone 
at  once  to  Eichmond,  where  he  was  kindly  and 
courteously  received  by  the  Confederate  author- 
ities, although  both  on  his  side  and  on  theirs  the 
forms  appropriate  to  the  fiction  that  he  was  a  pris- 
oner of  war  were  carefully  observed.1  After  a  con- 
ference with  the  leading  men  of  the  Confederate 
Government,  he  went  southward  and  arrived  on 

1  John  B.  Jones,  a  clerk  in  the  unite  all  parties  at  the  North, 

rebel  war  office,  made  on  the  22d  and     so     strengthen     Lincoln's 

of  June,  1863,  the  following  en-  hands  that  he  would  be  able  to 

try  in  his  diary :  "  To-day  I  saw  crush  all  opposition  and  trample 

the  memorandum  of  Mr.  Ould,  of  upon  the  constitutional  rights  of 

the  conversation  held  with  Mr.  the  people.    Mr.  V.  said  nothing 

Vallandigham,  for  file  in  the  ar-  to  indicate  that  either  he  or  the 

chives.     He  says  if  we  can  only  party  had  any  other  idea  than 

hold  out  this  year  that  the  peace  that  the  Union  would  be  recon- 

party  of  the  North  would  sweep  structed  under  Democratic  rule, 

the  Lincoln  dynasty  out  of  politi-  The  President  [Davis]  indorsed 

cal  existence.     He  seems  to  have  with  his  own  pen  on  this  docu- 

thought  that  our  cause  was  sink-  ment  that  in  regard  to  invasion 

ing,  and  feared  we  would  submit,  of  the  North  experience  proved 

which  would,  of  course,  be  ruin-  the  contrary  of  what  Mr.  V.  as- 

ous  to  his  party!    But  he  advises  serted." —  Jones,  "A  Rebel  War 

strongly  against  any  invasion  of  Clerk's  Diary."    Vol.  I.,  pp.  357, 

Pennsylvania,   for    that    would  358. 


chap.  xii.  the  22d  of  June  at  Bermuda  in  a  vessel  called  the 
Lady  Davis,  which  had  run  the  blockade  at  Wil- 
mington.   He  made  only  a  brief  stay  in  Bermuda, 
and  then  took  passage  for  Halifax,  Nova  Scotia, 
Moore,     where  he  arrived  on  the  5th  of  July.    From  the 
"iecoiaT   Canadian  side  of  Niagara  Falls  he  issued  an  address 
docu-  "    to  the  people  of  Ohio,  which  began  with  this  clever 

ments,  \     .*  '  ° 

pp.  438, 439.  and  striking  exordium : 

Arrested  and  confined  for  three  weeks  in  the  United 
States  a  prisoner  of  state ;  banished  thence  to  the  Confed- 
erate States,  and  there  held  as  an  alien  enemy  and  prisoner 
of  war,  though  on  parole,  fairly  and  honorably  dealt  with, 
and  given  leave  to  depart — an  act  possible  only  by  running 
the  blockade  at  the  hazard  of  being  fired  upon  by  ships 
flying  the  flag  of  my  own  country,  I  found  myself  first  a 
freeman  when  on  British  soil.  And  to-day,  under  pro- 
tection of  the  British  flag,  I  am  here  to  enjoy  and,  in  part, 
to  exercise  the  privileges  and  rights  which  usurpers  inso- 
lently deny  me  at  home.  .  .  Six  weeks  ago,  when  just 
going  into  banishment  because  an  audacious  but  most 
cowardly  despotism  caused  it,  I  addressed  you  as  a  fellow- 
citizen.  To-day,  and  from  the  very  place  then  selected  by 
me,  but  after  wearisome  and  most  perilous  journeyings 
for  more  than  four  thousand  miles  by  land  and  upon  sea, 
still  in  exile,  though  almost  within  sight  of  my  native 
State,  I  greet  you  as  your  representative. 

He  thanked  and  congratulated  the  Democrats  of 
Ohio  upon  the  nominations  they  had  made.  He 
indorsed  their  platform,  which  he  called  "  elegant 
in  style,  admirable  in  sentiment."  He  claimed  that 
his  arrest  was  the  issue  before  the  country.  "  The 
President,"  he  said,  u  accepts  the  issue.  .  .  In  time 
of  war  there  is  but  one  will  supreme  —  his  will; 
but  one  law  —  military  necessity,  and  he  the  sole 
judge."  He  was  convinced  that  the  war  could 
never  be  prosecuted  to  a  successful  termination; 
he  added : 



i  At  Niagara,  Vallandigham 
had  come  into  communication 
with  one  W.  C.  Jewett,  a  person 
who  passed  his  time  writing  letters 
to  the  newspapers  and  to  public 
men  in  favor  of  putting  an  end  to 
the  war  by  foreign  mediation. 
After  the  Ohio  election  had  con- 
vinced Vallandigham  that  little 
was  to  be  expected  in  the  way  of 
peace  from  the  efforts  of  the  Dem- 
ocratic party,  he  wrote  Jewett  a 
letter  strongly  favoring  an  imme- 
diate acceptance  of  the  mediation 
of  France  in  the  controversy  be- 
tween the  States.  He  said :  "  The 
South  and  the  North  are  both 
indebted  to  the  great  powers  of 
Europe  for  having  so  long  with- 
held recognition  from  the  Con- 

federate States.  The  South  has 
proved  her  ability  to  maintain 
herself  by  her  own  strength 
and  resources,  without  foreign 
aid,  moral  or  material ;  and  the 
North  and  West — the  whole 
country,  indeed — these  great 
powers  have  served  incalculably, 
by  holding  back  a  solemn  proc- 
lamation to  the  world  that  the 
Union  of  these  States  was  finally 
and  formally  dissolved.  They 
have  left  to  us  every  motive  and 
every  chance  for  reunion.  .  . 
Foreign  recognition  now  of  the 
Confederate  States  could  avail 
little  to  delay  or  prevent  final 
reunion." — W.  C.  Jewett,  Letter 
to  "  Liverpool  Mercury,"  No- 
vember 4. 

Vol.  VII., 
p.  439. 

If  this  civil  war  is  to  terminate  only  by  the  subjuga-  chap.  xii. 
tion  or  submission  of  the  Southern  force  in  arms,  the 
infant  of  to-day  will  not  see  the  end  of  it.  .  .  Traveling 
a  thousand  miles  or  more,  through  nearly  one-half  of  the 
Confederate  States,  and  sojourning  for  a  time  at  widely 
different  points,  I  met  not  one  man,  woman,  or  child  who 
was  not  resolved  to  perish  rather  than  yield  to  the  pres- 
sure of  arms,  even  in  the  most  desperate  extremity. 

He  announced,  therefore,  that  he  returned  with 
bis  opinion  in  favor  of  peace  not  only  unchanged, 
but  confirmed  and  strengthened.  But  nothing 
availed.  Mr.  Vallandigham  was  defeated  by  the 
unprecedented  majority  of  101,000  votes,  62,000 
of  which  were  cast  in  the  State  and  39,000  by  the 
soldiers  in  the  field,  to  whom  a  State  statute  had 
given  the  privilege  of  voting.  In  view  of  this 
overwhelming  defeat,  Mr.  Vallandigham  thought 
it  prudent  to  remain  during  the  winter  beyond 
the  jurisdiction  of  the  United  States.  He  was 
in  constant  correspondence,  however,  with  his 
associates    and    adherents,1    and    demonstrations 


chap.  xii.  were  made  from  time  to  time  against  the  Govern- 
ment for  its  treatment  of  him.  On  the  29th  of 
February,  1864,  Mr.  Pendleton  of  Ohio  offered  a 
resolution  in  the  House  of  Representatives  that  the 
arrest  and  banishment  of  Mr.  Vallandigham  were 

"Feft"  "  ac^s  °^  mere  arbitrary  power  in  palpable  violation 
1863.  '  0f  the  Constitution  and  laws  of  the  United  States," 
which  was  rejected  by  a  strict  party  vote,  forty- 
seven  Democrats  voting  in  favor  of  it,  and  seventy- 
six  Union  Members  voting  against  it,  only  two 
Democrats  voting  with  the  majority. 

Vallandigham's  course  in  opposition  to  the  war 
had  been  so  exasperating  to  the  Union  sentiment 
of  the  country,  his  speeches  had  been  so  full  of 
vehement  malice,  that  even  those  who  thought  his 
original  arrest  an  unjustifiable  stretch  of  military 
power  felt  no  sympathy  with  the  object  of  it,  and 
were  inclined  to  acquiesce  in  the  President's  dis- 
position of  the  case.  The  situation  was  not  with- 
out a  humorous  element  also,  to  which  the  American 
mind  is  always  hospitable.  The  spectacle  of  this 
furious  agitator,  condemned  by  court  martial  to  a 
long  imprisonment,  and  then  handed  over  by  the 
contemptuous  mercy  of  the  President  to  the  care 
and  keeping  of  his  friends  beyond  the  Union  lines ; 
his  frantic  protests  that  the  Confederates  were  not 
his  friends,  but  that  he  was  their  most  formidable 
and  dreaded  enemy;  the  friendly  receptions  and 
attentions  he  met  with  in  the  South  and  among  the 
sympathizing  British  officials  in  the  "West  Indies 
and  the  Northern  provinces ;  his  nomination  by  the 
Democratic  Convention  of  his  State,  which  was 
forced  immediately  to  apply  to  the  President  to 
give  them    back    their    candidate  —  affected    the 


popular  mind  as  an  event  rather  ridiculous  than  chap.  xii. 
serious,  and  the  constitutional  question  involved 
received  probably  less  attention  than  it  deserved. 
His  letters  from  Canada  aroused  little  or  no  sym- 
pathy, and  when,  in  June,  1864,  he  returned  to  the 
United  States,  the  President  declined  to  take  any 
notice  of  his  presence. 

His  dramatic  re-appearance  came  unexpectedly 
upon  Mr.  Lincoln,  as  his  arrest  had  done.  He  had 
seriously  thought  of  annulling  the  sentence  of  exile, 
but  had  been  too  much  occupied  with  other  matters 
to  do  it.  When  he  heard  of  Vallandigham's  arrival 
in  the  country,  he  wrote  a  joint  letter  to  Governor 
Brough,  and  Greneral  Heintzelman,  who  had  suc- 
ceeded Burnside  in  command  of  the  department, 
directing  them  to  "  consult  together  freely,  watch 
Vallandigham  and  others  closely,  and  upon  discover- 
ing any  palpable  injury  or  imminent  danger  to  the 
military  proceeding  from  him,  them,  or  any  of  them, 
arrest  all  implicated;  otherwise  do  not  arrest  without 
further  order.  Meanwhile  report  the  signs  to  me  from  MS< 
time  to  time."  But,  after  writing  the  letter,  he  con-  Jli86e420' 
eluded  not  to  send  it.  He  said,  in  conversation,  the 
only  question  to  decide  was  whether  he  could  afford 
to  disregard  the  contempt  of  authority  and  breach  of 
discipline  shown  in  Vallandigham's  action ;  other- 
wise it  could  not  but  result  in  benefit  to  the  Union 
cause  to  have  so  violent  and  indiscreet  a  man  go  to 
Chicago  as  a  firebrand  to  his  own  party.  Fernando 
Wood  had  urged  him  to  allow  Vallandigham  to 
return,  saying  that  in  that  case  there  would  be  two 
Democratic  candidates  for  the  Presidency.  "  These 
war  Democrats,"  said  Mr.  Wood,  "  are  scoundrelly 
hypocrites ;  they  want  to  oppose  you  and  favor  the 



J.  H., 


chap.  xii.  war  at  once,  which  is  nonsense.  There  are  but  two 
sides  in  this  fight  —  yours  and  mine,  war  and  peace. 
You  will  succeed  while  the  war  lasts,  I  expect ;  but 
we  shall  succeed  when  the  war  is  over.  I  intend  to 
keep  my  record  clear  for  the  future." 

Emboldened  by  impunity,  Vallandigham  began 
at  political  meetings  a  new  series  of  speeches  more 
violent  in  tone  than  those  which  had  caused  his 
arrest.  But  as  the  effect  of  them  was  clearly  bene- 
ficial to  the  Union  cause,  no  means  were  taken  to 
silence  him.  He  defied  the  Government  and  the 
army ;  he  made  vague  threats  that  in  case  he  was 
arrested  the  persons  and  property  of  those  instiga- 
ting such  a  proceeding  should  be  held  as  hostages. 
He  was  not  molested,  and  in  August  was  allowed  to 
take  a  prominent  part  in  the  National  Democratic 
Convention  at  Chicago,  where  he  rendered  valuable 
service  to  the  Union  party1  as  chairman  of  the 
Committee  on  Resolutions,  and  offered  the  motion 
that  the  nomination  of  General  McClellan  should 
be  made  unanimous. 

iThe  Illinois  Democrats  were  H.,  June   18:   "How  much  did 

greatly  troubled    by  Vallandig-  you  fellows  give  Fernandy  Wood 

ham's  apparition.     Congressman  for    importing    him  ? " —  J.    H., 

William  R.  Morrison  said  to  J.  Diary. 

"  History 

of  the 


p.  176. 



THE  reverses  sustained  by  the  Union  arms  ch.  xm. 
during  the  summer  and  autumn  of  1862 
had  their  direct  effect  in  the  field  of  politics. 
Every  unsuccessful  movement,  and  especially 
every  defeat  of  the  National  forces,  increased  the 
strength  and  audacity  of  the  opposition  to  the 
Government  and  the  war.  There  were,  it  is  true, 
hundreds  of  thousands  of  Democratic  soldiers 
in  the  ranks  fighting  to  uphold  the  Union;  and 
as  a  result  of  this  —  because  men's  sentiments 
are  far  more  influenced  by  their  actions  than  their 
actions  are  inspired  by  their  sentiments  —  they 
were  generally  induced  to  take  the  Republican 
view  of  public  affairs,  and  by  degrees  to  unite 
themselves  with  the  Republican  party.  But  they 
seemed  to  exert  no  influence  whatever  upon  their 
friends  and  relations  at  home.  The  Democratic 
party  remained  as  solid  in  its  organization,  as 
powerful  in  its  resistance  to  the  Government,  as 
ever.  The  great  liberating  measure  of  the  Presi- 
dent, the  proclamation  of  September,  had  its  influ-  1862. 
ence  also  in  exasperating  and  consolidating  the 
opposition.  This  act,  which  not  only  renders  his 
name  immortal,  but  glorifies  the  age  in  which  he 


ch.  xiii.  lived,  contributed  to  the  defeat  of  his  party  in 
some  of  the  more  important  States  of  the  Union. 
In  the  autumn  of  1862  the  Democrats  carried  New 
York,  electing  Horatio  Seymour  governor  over  that 
patriotic  and  accomplished  gentleman,  General 
James  S.  Wads  worth ;  the  adjoining  State  of  New 
Jersey  was  also  carried  by  them.  There  were 
heavy  losses  of  Congressmen  in  the  great  States  of 
Pennsylvania,  Ohio,  and  Indiana ;  and  even  in  the 
President's  own  State  of  Illinois  the  opposition  in- 
flicted upon  him  a  peculiarly  painful  defeat,  elect- 
ing nine  of  his  opponents  and  only  four  of  his 

The  Union  sentiment  was  still  sufficiently  power- 
1862  f  u\  throughout  the  North  to  elect  an  easy  working 
majority  in  the  House  of  Representatives,  and  the 
Eepublican  predominance  in  the  Senate  was,  of 
course,  untouched ;  so  that  so  far  as  legislation  was 
concerned  there  was  no  danger  that  the  Govern- 
ment would  be  embarrassed  by  an  opposition  ma- 
jority. But  the  losses  it  met  with  in  the  elections 
were  none  the  less  serious  and  discouraging.  A 
war  disapproved  by  a  free  people  cannot  long  be 
carried  on  by  the  will  of  the  Government,  and,  if 
the  ratio  of  losses  indicated  by  the  elections  of 
1862  had  continued  another  year,  the  permanency 
of  the  republic  would  have  been  gravely  compro- 
mised. But  the  intelligence  of  the  American  people 
gradually  acknowledged  the  wisdom  and  accepted 
the  leadership  of  the  President,  and  moved  forward 
to  the  advanced  platform  upon  which  Mr.  Lincoln 
had  placed  himself.  The  right  of  suffrage  given  by 
the  State  Legislatures  to  the  soldiers  in  the  field  re- 
enforced  the  voting  strength  of  the  Republicans 


at  home,  and  the  ballot  and  the  bullet  worked  har-    ch.  xiii. 
moniously  together. 

Nevertheless,  in  the  autumn  of  1862,  Mr.  Lincoln 
was  exposed  to  the  bitterest  assaults  and  criticisms 
from  every  faction  in  the  country.  His  conserva- 
tive supporters  reproached  him  with  having 
yielded  to  the  wishes  of  the  radicals ;  the  radicals 
denounced  him  for  being  hampered,  if  not  cor- 
rupted, by  the  influence  of  the  conservatives.  On 
one  side  he  was  assailed  by  a  clamor  for  peace,  on 
the  other  by  vehement  and  injurious  demands  for 
a  more  vigorous  prosecution  of  the  war.  He  stood 
unmoved  by  these  attacks,  converging  upon  him 
from  every  quarter,  and  rarely  took  the  trouble  to 
defend  himself  against  them.  Coming  from  every 
side  the  pressure  neutralized  itself,  like  that  of  the 
atmosphere.  To  one  friend  who  assailed  him  with 
peculiar  candor,  he  made  a  reply  which  may  answer 
as  a  sufficient  defense  to  all  the  radical  attacks 
which  were  so  rife  at  the  time. 

I  have  just  received  and  read  your  letter  of  the  20th. 
The  purport  of  it  is  that  we  lost  the  late  elections,  and 
the  Administration  is  failing  because  the  war  is  unsuc- 
cessful, and  that  I  must  not  flatter  myself  that  I  am  not 
justly  to  blame  for  it.  I  certainly  know  that  if  the  war 
fails,  the  Administration  fails,  and  that  I  will  be  blamed 
for  it,  whether  I  deserve  it  or  not.  And  I  ought  to  be 
blamed  if  I  could  do  better.  You  think  I  could  do  better; 
therefore  you  blame  me  already.  I  think  I  could  not  do 
better  j  therefore  I  blame  you  for  blaming  me.  I  under- 
stand you  now  to  be  willing  to  accept  the  help  of  men 
who  are  not  Republicans,  provided  they  have  "  heart  in 
it." — Agreed.  I  want  no  others.  But  who  is  to  be  the  judge 
of  hearts,  or  of  "  heart  in  it n  f  If  I  must  discard  my 
own  judgment,  and  take  yours,  I  must  also  take  that  of 
others  j   and  by  the  time  I  should  reject  all  I  should  be 



Ch.  XIII. 

to  Schurz, 

Nov.  24, 
1862.    MS. 

advised  to  reject,  I  should  have  none  left,  Republicans  or 
others  —  not  even  yourself.  For  be  assured,  my  dear 
sir,  there  are  men  who  have  "  heart  in  it "  that  think  you 
are  performing  your  part  as  poorly  as  you  think  I  am 
performing  mine.  I  certainly  have  been  dissatisfied  with 
the  slowness  of  Buell  and  McClellan  j  but  before  I  re- 
lieved them  I  had  great  fears  I  should  not  find  successors 
to  them  who  would  do  better ;  and  I  am  sorry  to  add  that 
I  have  seen  little  since  to  relieve  those  fears.  I  do  not 
clearly  see  the  prospect  of  any  more  rapid  movements.  I 
fear  we  shall  at  last  find  out  that  the  difficulty  is  in  our  case 
rather  than  in  particular  generals.  I  wish  to  disparage 
no  one  —  certainly  not  those  who  sympathize  with  me  ; 
but  I  must  say  I  need  success  more  than  I  need  sympathy, 
and  that  I  have  not  seen  the  so  much  greater  evidence 
of  getting  success  from  my  sympathizers  than  from  those 
who  are  denounced  as  the  contrary.  It  does  seem  to  me 
that  in  the  field  the  two  classes  have  been  very  much  alike 
in  what  they  have  done  and  what  they  have  failed  to  do. 
In  sealing  their  faith  with  their  blood,  Baker,  and 
Lyon,  and  Bohlen,  and  Richardson,  Republicans,  did  all 
that  men  could  do ;  but  did  they  any  more  than  Kearny, 
and  Stevens,  and  Reno,  and  Mansfield,  none  of  whom  were 
Republicans,  and  some  at  least  of  whom  have  been 
bitterly  and  repeatedly  denounced  to  me  as  secession 
sympathizers  ?  I  will  not  perform  the  ungrateful  task  of 
comparing  cases  of  failure.  In  answer  to  your  question, 
Has  it  not  been  publicly  stated  in  the  newspapers,  and 
apparently  proved  as  a  fact,  that  from  the  commencement 
of  the  war  the  enemy  was  continually  supplied  with  in- 
formation by  some  of  the  confidential  subordinates  of  as 
important  an  oflicer  as  Adjutant- General  Thomas'?  I 
must  say  "  No,"  as  far  as  my  knowledge  extends.  And  I 
add  that  if  you  can  give  any  tangible  evidence  upon  the 
subject,  I  will  thank  you  to  come  to  this  city  and  do  so. 

The  movements  for  peace  which  were  made  at  this 
period  on  both  sides  of  the  line  were  feeble  and 
without  result.  Henry  S.  Foote  of  Tennessee  in- 
troduced a  resolution  in  the  Confederate  House  of 
Representatives  to  the  effect  "  that  the  signal  sue- 


cess  with  which  Divine  Providence  has  so  continu-    ch.  xiii. 
ally  blessed  our  arms  for  several   months   past    McPner- 

"  *  son, 

would  fully  justify  the  Confederate  Government  "^SUP 
in  dispatching  a  commissioner  or  commissioners  to  Rep.e!j5£n'" 
the  Government  at  Washington  City,  empowered 
to  propose  the  terms  of  a  just  and  honorable  peace." 
Hines  Holt  of  Georgia  offered  as  a  substitute  a  reso- 
lution setting  forth  that  the  people  of  the  Confeder- 
ate States  have  been  always  anxious  for  peace,  and 
that  "whenever  the  Government  of  the  United 
States  shall  manifest  a  like  anxiety  it  should  be  the 
duty  of  the  President  of  the  Confederate  States  to 
appoint  commissioners  to  treat  upon  the  subject." 
But  both  resolution  and  substitute  were  laid  on  the 
table  by  a  large  majority.  In  the  Senate  of  the 
United  States  Garrett  Davis  offered  a  resolu- 
tion recommending  to  the  States  to  choose  delegates 
to  a  Convention  to  be  held  at  Louisville,  Kentucky, 
to  take  into  consideration  the  condition  of  the 
United  States  and  the  proper  means  for  a  restora-  "Globe," 
tion  of  the  Union ;  this  was  laid  upon  the  table.  ecp.  4.  ' 
Mr.  Vallandigham  also  offered  resolutions  for  peace 
in  the  House  of  Representatives ;  but  neither  in 
the  North  nor  in  the  South  was  there  at  that  time  a 
party  sufficiently  powerful  to  bring  any  measures 
for  peace  to  the  point  of  legislation,  though  on  both 
sides  there  was  a  strong  current  of  agitation  for 
the  termination  of  the  war,  which,  being  regarded 
and  treated  as  treasonable,  was  easily  held  in 

From  time  to  time  there  were  unauthorized  at- 
tempts of  individuals,  inspired  by  restlessness  or  a 
love  of  notoriety,  to  set  on  foot  amateur  negotia- 
tions for  peace.    One  of  the  most  active  and  per- 


ch.  xiii.  sistent  of  the  peace  politicians  of  the  North  was 
Fernando  Wood  of  New  York.  He  held  a  unique 
position  in  his  party.  While  strongly  sympathizing 
with  the  secessionists,  and  openly  affiliating  with 
them  in  public,  he  nevertheless  tried  to  keep  up  a 
sort  of  furtive  confidential  relation  with  the  leading 
members  of  the  Government.  He  frequently 
visited  the  White  House,  the  State  Department, 
and  the  Treasury  Department,  but  emulated  the 
discretion  of  Nicodemus  as  to  the  hour  of  his  visits. 
No  rebuffs  daunted  him ;  he  apparently  cared  no- 
thing for  the  evident  distrust  with  which  his  over- 
tures were  received.  He  kept  them  up  as  long  as 
the  war  lasted,  probably  in  the  hope  that  the  time 
might  come  for  him  to  play  a  conspicuous  and  im- 
portant part  in  the  final  negotiations  for  peace.  He 
used  every  occasion  to  ingratiate  himself  with  the 
President.  He  wrote,  congratulating  him  on  the 
change  in  the  War  Department  in  the  beginning 
of  1862,  as  indicating  the  President's  "ability  to 

Ms.  govern,  and  also  his  executive  power  and  will." 
Later  in  the  same  year  he  wrote  complaining  that 
the  radical  abolitionists  of  New  York  represented 
him  as  hostile  to  the  Administration  and  as  in 
sympathy  with  the  States  in  rebellion  against  the 
Government.  He  denied  these  charges,  and  begged 
the  President  to  "rely  upon  his  support  in  his 

M«-       efforts  to  maintain  the  integrity  of  the  Union." 

In  September,  after  making  a  speech  furiously 
denouncing  the  Government  for  its  arbitrary  ar- 
rests, he  wrote  a  confidential  note  to  the  President, 
making  the  usual  explanation  that  he  had  been  in- 
correctly reported:  "All  I  said  applied  to  those 
arrests  that  had  been  made  through  error  or  mis- 


representation,  and  exclusively  as  to  the  truly  ch.  xm. 
loyal."  In  November,  after  a  similar  tirade,  lie 
wrote  to  Mr.  Seward,  with  a  striking  lack  of  origi- 
nality, making  the  same  plea  of  an  incorrect  report. 
"  I  did  not,"  he  said,  u  utter  the  treasonable  senti-  1862. 
ments  reported."  Having  in  this  way,  as  he 
thought,  established  himself  in  the  confidence  of 
the  President,  he  wrote  him  a  letter  on  the  8th  of 
December,  1862,  pretending  that  he  had  "  reliable 
and  truthful  authority  "  to  say  that  the  Southern 
States  would  send  Eepresentatives  to  the  next  Con- 
gress, provided  that  a  full  and  general  amnesty 
should  permit  them  to  do  so,  no  guaranty  or  terms 
being  asked  for  other  than  the  amnesty  referred  to. 

As  an  humble  but  loyal  citizen  deeply  impressed  with 
the  great  necessity  of  restoring  the  Union  of  these 
States,  I  ask  your  immediate  attention  to  this  subject. 
The  magnitude  of  the  interests  at  stake  warrants  some 
executive  action  predicated  upon  this  information,  if  it  be 
only  to  ascertain  whether  it  be  grounded  upon  even  prob- 
able foundation.  If  it  shall  prove  groundless  no  harm 
shall  have  been  done,  provided  the  inquiry  be  made,  as  it 
can  be,  without  compromising  the  Government  or  injury 
to  the  glorious  cause  in  which  it  is  now  engaged.  If,  how- 
ever, it  shall  prove  well  founded,  there  is  no  estimate  too 
high  to  place  upon  its  national  value. 

The  immediate  object  of  his  letter  became  evi- 
dent in  the  following  paragraph : 

Now,  therefore,  Mr.  President,  I  suggest  that  gentle- 
men whose  former  social  and  political  relations  with  the 
leaders  of  the  Southern  revolt  [sic]  may  be  allowed  to 
hold  unofficial  correspondence  with  them  on  this  subject 
—  the  correspondence  to  be  submitted  to  you.    It  may   t0L^°oin 
be  thus  ascertained  what,  if  any,  credence  may  be  given  Dec.  8, 1862. 
to  these  statements,  and  also  whether  a  peaceful  solution      by  ms. 
of  the  present  struggle  may  not  be  attainable. 


chap.xiii.  The  President  answered  on  the  12th  of  Decem- 
ber. Referring  to  the  first  paragraph  above  quoted, 
he  said : 

I  strongly  suspect  your  information  will  prove  to  he 
groundless;  nevertheless,  I  thank  you  for  communica- 
ting it  to  me.  Understanding  the  phrase  in  the  paragraph 
above  quoted,  "  The  Southern  States  would  send  repre- 
sentatives to  the  next  Congress,"  to  be  substantially  the 
same  as  that  "  the  people  of  the  Southern  States  would 
cease  resistance,  and  would  re-inaugurate,  submit  to,  and 
maintain  the  national  authority  within  the  limits  of  such 
States,  under  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States,"  I  say 
that  in  such  case  the  war  would  cease  on  the  part  of  the 
United  States,  and  that  if,  within  a  reasonable  time,  "  a 
full  and  general  amnesty  "  were  necessary  to  such  end, 
it  would  not  be  withheld.  I  do  not  think  it  would  be 
proper  now  for  me  to  communicate  this  formally  or  in- 
formally to  the  people  of  the  Southern  States.  My 
belief  is  that  they  already  know  it;  and  when  they 
choose,  if  ever,  they  can  communicate  with  me  unequiv- 
ocally. Nor  do  I  think  it  proper  now  to  suspend  mili- 
tary operations  to  try  any  experiment  of  negotiation.  I 
should  nevertheless  receive  with  great  pleasure  the  exact 
Lincoln  information  you  now  have,  and  also  such  other  as  you 
Dea°J?'  may  in  any  way  obtain.  Such  information  might  be 
1862.  ms.    more  valuable  before  the  1st  of  January  than  afterwards. 

These  last  words  refer,  of  course,  to  the  impend- 
ing proclamation  of  emancipation.  Between  the 
date  of  Mr.  Lincoln's  letter  and  Mr.  "Wood's  reply 
came  the  frightful  carnage  at  Fredericksburg, 
which  emboldened  him  to  say  that  the  President's 
reply  had  filled  him  with  profound  regret. 

"It  declines  what  I  had  conceived  to  be  an  innocent 
effort  to  ascertain  the  foundation  for  information 
in  my  possession  of  a  desire  in  the  South  to  return 
to  the  Union.  It  thus  appears  to  be  an  indication 
on  your  part  [sic]  to  continue  a  policy  which,  in 


my  judgment,  is  not  only  unwise,  but,  in  the  opin-    ch.  xiii. 
ion  of  many,  is  in  conflict  with  the  constitutional 
authority  vested  in  the  Federal  Government." 

He  protested  earnestly  against  this  policy,  and 
felt  encouraged  to  renew  the  suggestions  of  his 
letter  of  the  8th. 

"  I  feel  that  military  operations  so  bloody  and 
exhausting  as  ours  must  sooner  or  later  be  sus- 
pended. The  day  of  suspension  must  come.  The 
only  question  is  whether  it  shall  be  before  the 
whole  American  people,  North  and  South,  shall 
be  involved  in  general  ruin,  or  whether  it  shall  be 
whilst  there  is  remaining  sufficient  of  the  recuper- 
ative element  of  life  by  which  to  restore  our  once  to  LhSoin, 
happy,  prosperous,  and  peaceful  American  Union."  lsel?'  ms. 
To  this  letter  the  President  made  no  reply. 

Other  volunteers  from  time  to  time  tendered 
their  services  in  the  same  field.  Duff  Green,  a 
Virginia  politician,  wrote  to  the  President  from 
Richmond  as  early  as  the  20th  of  January,  asking 
permission  to  visit  Washington.  He  said  that  if 
he  could  see  Mr.  Lincoln  and  converse  with  him  on 
the  subject  he  could  do  much  to  pave  the  way  for 
an  early  termination  of  the  war.  Receiving  no 
encouragement  from  Washington,  he  asked  the 
same  permission  from  Richmond,  but  this  request 
came  to  nothing.  In  the  summer  of  1863,  how- 
ever, an  effort  for  peace  negotiations  was  made, 
which  came  with  such  high  sanction  and  involved 
personages  of  such  individual  and  political  impor- 
tance that  it  requires  particular  mention. 

About  the  middle  of  June  Alexander  H.  Ste-       i863. 
phens,  Vice-President  of  the  Southern  Confederacy, 
became  convinced  that  the  time  was  auspicious  for 
Vol.  VII.— 24 

June  12, 


ch.  xiii.  initiating  negotiations  for  peace.  He  thought  he 
saw  reasons  for  great  encouragement  in  the  atti- 
tude of  the  North;  the  great  gains  of  the  Demo- 
cratic party  in  the  last  autumnal  elections,  the 
pamphlet  of  Judge  Benjamin  R.  Curtis  attacking 
the  measures  of  the  Administration,  a  public  meet- 
ing in  favor  of  peace,  held  without  disturbance  in  the 
city  of  New  York,  in  which  violent  speeches  were 
made  by  Fernando  Wood  and  others,  and  the 
st"  wa?8'  nomination  for  Governor  of  Ohio  of  Vallandigham 
tiSestK.»  are  all  mentioned  by  him  as  facts  going  to  show  that 
pp.°557,  558.  the  people  of  the  North  were  wearying  of  the  war. 
On  this  insufficient  evidence  he  wrote  to  Jefferson 
Davis  proposing  that  he  should  go  to  Washington, 
ostensibly  to  negotiate  some  questions  involving  the 
exchange  of  prisoners,  but  saying  that  he  was  not 
without  hopes  that  indirectly  he  "  could  now  turn  at- 
tention to  a  general  adjustment,  upon  such  basis  as 
might  ultimately  be  acceptable  to  both  parties,  and 
stop  the  further  effusion  of  blood  in  a  contest  so  irra- 
tional, unchristian,  and  so  inconsistent  with  all 
ibid.,  p.  559.  recognized  American  principles."  He  assured  Mr. 
Davis  that  he  entertained  but  one  idea  of  the  basis 
of  final  adjustment  —  the  recognition  of  the  sover- 
eignty of  the  States,  and  the  right  of  each  in  its  sov- 
ereign capacity  to  determine  its  own  destiny.  He  did 
not  believe  the  Federal  Government  was  yet  ripe  for 
such  acknowledgment,  but  he  did  believe  that  the 
time  had  come  for  a  proper  presentation  of  the 
question  to  the  authorities  at  Washington.  "While, 
therefore,"  he  says,  "  a  mission  might  be  dispatched 
on  a  minor  point,  the  greater  one  could  possibly, 
with  prudence,  discretion,  and  skill,  be  opened  to 
view  and  brought  in  discussion,  in  a  way  that 


would  lead  eventually  to  successful  results.    This    ch.  xiii. 
would  depend  upon  many  circumstances,"  lie  adds 
complacently,  "  but  no  little  upon  the  character  and    st^|?8' 
efficiency  of  the  agent.  .  .  So  feeling,  I  have  been  testates." 
prompted  to  address  you  these  lines."  v^}m7 

Upon  the  receipt  of  this  letter  Mr.  Davis  sent  a 
telegram  requesting  his  Vice-President  to  go  imme- 
diately to  Richmond.  He  arrived  there  on  the  22d  of 
June ;  but,  in  the  ten  days  which  had  elapsed  since  usa. 
his  letter  was  written,  he  found  that  changes  of  the 
utmost  importance  had  taken  place  in  the  military 
situation.  On  the  one  hand  the  Confederate  au- 
thorities had  despaired  of  the  condition  of  Pember- 
ton  at  Vicksburg,  and  expected  that  any  day  might 
bring  them  tidings  of  his  surrender,  but  on  the 
other  hand  they  were  anticipating  with  sanguine 
enthusiasm  the  most  magnificent  results  from  Lee's 
invasion  of  Pennsylvania.  Mr.  Stephens,  in  the 
work  which  he  wrote  at  his  leisure  after  the  war 
was  ended,  represents  that  in  these  changed  con- 
ditions he  was  inclined  to  give  up  his  mission, 
thinking  that  no  good  could  result  from  it,  as  the 
movement  of  Lee  into  Pennsylvania  would  greatly 
excite  the  war  spirit  and  strengthen  the  war  party 
—  a  view  of  the  case  in  which  Mr.  Davis  positively 
declined  to  agree.  He  thought  Mr.  Lincoln  would 
be  more  likely  to  receive  a  commissioner  for  peace 
if  General  Lee's  army  was  actually  threatening 
Washington  than  if  it  was  lying  quietly  south  of 
the  Rappahannock.  The  Confederate  Cabinet  be- 
ing called  together,  they  agreed  with  Mr.  Davis; 
they  thought  the  Federal  Government  might  be 
best  approached  while  under  the  threat  of  the  guns 
of  Lee,  and  before  they  should  receive  fresh  hope 



Ch.  XIII. 

"  War 

tbe  States." 

Vol.  II., 
pp.  563-566. 

Lee  to 


July  4, 1863. 


and  encouragement  from  the  surrender  of  Pember- 
ton,  which  was  now  considered  inevitable. 

An  arrangement  was  made  for  Stephens  to  proceed 
by  land  on  the  route  taken  by  Lee's  army,  and  to 
communicate  with  the  Washington  authorities  from 
his  headquarters ;  but  excessive  rains  and  the  bad- 
ness of  the  roads  caused  a  change  of  route,  and  the 
invalid  Vice-President  was  therefore  saved  a  most 
distressing  journey,  from  which  he  would  have 
come  "bootless  home  and  weather-beaten  back." 
Mr.  Mallory,  the  Secretary  of  the  Confederate 
Navy,  gave  him  a  small  steamer,  and  accompanied 
by  Eobert  Ould  as  his  secretary,  he  steamed 
away  to  Fort  Monroe.  In  any  case  his  mission 
would  probably  have  been  fruitless,  but  he  states 
only  the  truth  when  he  claims  that  he  arrived  at  an 
unlucky  moment.  He  communicated  with  Admiral 
Lee  in  Hampton  Roads  on  the  Fourth  of  July,  just 
after  Lee's  march  to  the  North  had  ended  in  dis- 
astrous failure  at  Gettysburg.  He  sent  the  admiral 
a  letter  stating  that  he  was  "  bearer  of  a  communi- 
cation in  writing  from  Jefferson  Davis,  Commander- 
in-Chief  of  the  land  and  naval  forces  of  the  Con- 
federate States,  to  Abraham  Lincoln,  Commander- 
in-Chief  of  the  land  and  naval  forces  of  the  United 
States,"  and  that  he  desired  to  proceed  directly  to 
Washington  in  his  own  steamer,  the  Torpedo. 

The  titles  by  which  Mr.  Lincoln  and  Mr.  Davis 
were  designated  in  this  note  had  been  the  subject 
of  anxious  consultation  in  Eichmond.  Stephens's 
commission  from  the  Confederate  President  gave 
Mr.  Lincoln  the  title  above  quoted  to  avoid  the 
necessity  of  claiming  the  style  of  President  for  Mr. 
Davis ;  but  in  case  Mr.  Lincoln  should  stand  upon 


his  dignity  and  refuse  the  letter  addressed  to  him    ch.  xiii. 
as  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  Army  and  Navy, 
Mr.  Davis  had  prepared  for  Mr.  Stephens  a  dupli- 
cate letter  addressed  to  Mr.  Lincoln  as  President 
and  signed  by  Mr.  Davis  in  the  same  style ;  if  to 
this  letter  objections  were  made,  on  the  ground 
that  Mr.  Davis  was  not  recognized  to  be  President    Davi8 10 
of  the  Confederacy,  Mr.  Stephens's  mission  was  jSj^S 
then  to  be  at  an  end,  "  as  such  conference,"  Mr.    s«$£?8' 
Davis  said,  "  is  admissible  only  on  a  footing  of  the  states.' 
perfect  equality."    But  all  this  care,  foresight,  and      p-  Vso." 
punctilio  went  for  nothing.    As  soon  as  Mr.  Lin- 
coln received  the  telegram  in  which  Admiral  Lee 
announced  to  the  Secretary  of  the  Navy  the  ar- 
rival of  Mr.  Stephens,  he  immediately  wrote  on 
the  back  of  the  dispatch  a  note  to  be  sent  by 
Mr.  Welles  to  Admiral  Lee,   in   which,  without 
paying  any  attention  whatever  to  the  style   of 
Mr.  Stephens's  application,  he  went  directly  to  the 
heart  of  the  matter.     This  draft  of  an  order  ran 
as  follows: 

You  will  not  permit  Mr.  Stephens  to  proceed  to  Wash- 
ington or  to  pass  the  blockade.  He  does  not  make  known 
the  subjects  to  which  the  communication  in  writing  from 
Mr.  Davis  relates,  which  he  bears  and  seeks  to  deliver 
in  person  to  the  President,  and  upon  which  he  desires  to 
confer.  Those  subjects  can  only  be  military,  or  not 
military,  or  partly  both.  Whatever  may  be  military  will 
be  readily  received  if  offered  through  the  well  understood 
military  channel.  Of  course  nothing  else  will  be  received 
by  the  President  when  offered,  as  in  this  case,  in  terms 
assuming  the  independence  of  the  so-called  Confederate 
States,  and  anything  will  be  received,  and  carefully  con- 
sidered by  him,  when  offered  by  any  influential  person,  Lincoln, 
or  persons,  in  terms  not  assuming  the  independence  of  ms. 
the  so-called  Confederate  States. 


ch.  xiii.  This  note  he  afterwards  evidently  considered  as 
entering  too  mnch  into  detail,  and  he  therefore 
caused  the  Secretary  of  the  Navy  to  send  this  brief 
reply  to  Admiral  Lee : 

The  request  of  A.  H.  Stephens  is  inadmissible.  The 
customary  agents  and  channels  are  adequate  for  all  need- 
ful communication  and  conference  between  the  United 
States  forces  and  the  insurgents. 

Mr.  Stephens,  when  he  came  afterwards  to  relate 
the  history  of  this  abortive  mission,  frankly  ad- 
mitted that  his  ulterior  purpose  was  not  so  much  to 
act  upon  Mr.  Lincoln  and  the  then  ruling  authorities 
at  Washington  as  through  them,  when  the  corre- 
spondence should  be  published,  upon  the  great  mass 
of  the  people  in  the  Northern  States,  who  were 
becoming,  he  thought,  so  sensitively  alive  to  the 
great  danger  of  their  own  liberties.  He  wanted, 
he  said,  "  to  deeply  impress  the  growing  constitu- 
tional party  at  the  North  with  a  full  realization  of 
the  true  nature  and  ultimate  tendencies  of  the 
st«  wa?8'  war  " ;  to  show  them  "  that  the  surest  way  to  main- 
thestate?."  tain  their  liberties  was  to  allow  us  the  separate 

Vol.IL,  „ 

pp.  56i,  562.  enjoyment  of  ours." 

Though  this  hope  was  baffled  by  the  rebuff  which 
Mr.  Stephens  received  at  Fort  Monroe,  which  pre- 
vented him  from  laying  before  his  sympathizing 
Northern  friends  his  view  of  their  endangered 
liberties  and  the  best  means  of  preserving  them,  it 
may  be  doubted  whether  the  partisans  of  peace  at 
the  North  lost  anything  by  this  incident.  Certainly, 
throughout  the  whole  summer  of  1863,  they  fought 
their  losing  battle  with  a  courage  and  a  determina- 
tion equal  to  that  which  their  sympathizers  were 
displaying  in  the  South.    But  the  very  energy  and 


malice  with  which  they  carried  on  the  contest  ch.  xiii. 
roused  the  loyal  people  of  the  North  to  still  greater 
efforts  and  increased  the  dimensions  of  their  ulti- 
mate triumph.  The  election  in  New  Hampshire,  the 
first  which  took  place  in  the  spring  of  1863,  while  it 
brought  victory  to  the  Republicans,  still  gave  pain- 
ful evidence  of  the  bitter  hostility  of  the  Demo- 
cratic party  to  the  prosecution  of  the  war.  Senator 
Daniel  Clark,  writing  to  Mr.  Lincoln,  said : 

"  Scarcely  a  Democrat  supported  the  Administra- 
tion. Almost  every  one  who  had  heretofore  avowed 
himself  for  the  Union  and  the  country  turned  in  for 
peace  and  party.  Yet  we  have  beaten  them.  They 
have  retired  from  the  field.  The  two  houses  in 
convention  will  choose  a  Republican  governor,  and 
Frank  Pierce  in  retirement  will  not  have  beaten  SSoin0, 
Abraham  Lincoln  in  office."  g£° Vs! 

There  were  after  this,  during  the  summer  and 
early  autumn,  moments  of  depression  and  discour- 
agement in  which  it  seemed  that  the  malignant 
energy  displayed  by  the  opposition  could  not  be 
without  disastrous  effect,  and  as  the  day  of  election 
drew  near  in  the  "  October  States  "  both  sides  felt 
justified  in  renewing  their  utmost  efforts.  In 
Pennsylvania  the  contest  presented  features  of 
special  interest.  Andrew  GL  Curtin,  who,  as  Gov- 
ernor of  the  State,  had  given  not  only  efficient  but 
enthusiastic  support  to  the  war,  was  opposed  by 
Judge  George  W.  Woodward,  who,  as  one  of  the 
Democratic  justices  of  the  Supreme  Court  of  the 
State,  had  just  aimed  a  blow  at  the  prosecution  of 
the  war  which  would  have  been  fatal  if  followed 
up  and  sustained  by  other  courts.  He  had  declared 
the    enrollment    law  unconstitutional,   and  upon 


ch.  xiii.    the  record  thus  made  had  been  nominated  for 

The  friends  of  Mr.  Curtin  relied  on  the  war 
spirit  to  carry  their  candidate  through,  and  to- 
wards the  close  of  the  campaign  they  claimed, 
1863.  most  injudiciously,  that  General  McClellan,  whose 
popularity  was  still  great  among  the  Democrats 
of  Pennsylvania,  was  in  favor  of  the  election  of 
Curtin,  with  whom  he  had  always  sustained  friendly 
personal  relations.  Just  on  the  eve  of  election 
this  matter  came  to  the  attention  of  McClellan. 
Desiring  to  keep  his  political  standing  with  his 
party  intact,  he  sought  an  interview  with  Judge 
Woodward,  and  published  a  letter  declaring  that, 
"  having  had  a  full  conversation  with  the  judge,  he 
found  that  their  views  agreed,  and  that  he  regarded 
his  election  as  Governor  of  Pennsylvania  called  for 
by  the  interests  of  the  nation."1  But  even  this 
dilatory  reenforcement  of  the  peace  party  was  not 
enough  to  save  their  canvass ;  the  Republicans  of 
the  State  were  as  thoroughly  alive  to  the  emer- 
gency as  their  opponents,  and  the  vote  polled  was 
greater  by  many  thousands  than  had  ever  been 
cast  before.  Governor  Curtin  was  reelected  by  a 
majority  of  over  fifteen  thousand,  and  Chief-Jus- 
tice Lowrie,  who  with  Woodward  had  aimed  from 
the  bench  the  most  mischievous  blow  ever  dealt  at 
the  enrollment  bill,  was  defeated  for  reelection  by 
Daniel  Agnew,  and  the  court,  thus  reconstituted, 
reversed  its  previous  judgment. 

1  This  letter  of  McClellan  was  Curtin  when  the  newspaper  con- 
a  severe  disappointment  to  Cur-  taining  McClellan's  letter  was  re- 
tin,  who  had  regarded  him  as  his  ceived  said,  "  '  Et  tu,  Brute  ! '  was 
friend.  A  friend  (now  Sir  John  not  a  circumstance  to  it."  — J. 
Puleston,  M.  P.)  who  was  with  H.,  Diary. 


In  Ohio  the  contest  was  marked  with  equal  bit-  ch.  xiii. 
terness  and  enthusiasm.  The  Democrats,  working 
against  hope  but  with  undaunted  persistency  for 
their  banished  candidate,  Vallandigham,  were 
buried  under -the  portentous  majority  of  one  hun- 
dred thousand  votes.  This  overwhelming  triumph 
of  the  Union  party  in  the  October  States  made  sue-  1863. 
cess  certain  in  the  general  election  of  the  next 
month.  The  tide  had  turned,  and  the  current 
now  swept  steadily  onward  in  one  way.  The 
State  of  New  York,  which  had  been  shaken  to  its 
center  by  the  frightful  crimes  and  excitement  in- 
cident to  the  draft  riots,  now  witnessed  a  great 
popular  political  reaction;  and,  reversing  the 
majority  of  ten  thousand  given  to  Seymour  in 
1862,  the  Eepublican  State  ticket  was  elected  by 
thirty  thousand,  and  the  Legislature  also  passed 
into  the  hands  of  the  Unionists.  The  success  of 
the  year,  which  —  as  it  involved  the  most  important  I 

practical  results  —  was  dearest  to  the  heart  of  the 
President,  was  that  attained  in  Maryland.  The 
second  passage  of  rebel  armies  over  her  territory 
seemed  at  last  to  have  purged  the  secession  senti- 
ment from  that  State,  and  four  Unionists  out  of 
her  five  districts  were  elected  to  Congress,  and  an 
emancipation  State  ticket  was  carried  by  twenty 
thousand  majority. 

Throughout  the  West  the  Union  sentiment  as- 
serted itself  with  irresistible  strength.  An  attempt 
marked  with  singular  boldness  and  energy  had  been 
made  during  the  year  by  the  leaders  of  the  peace 
party  to  gain  control  of  the  great  States  of  the 
Northwest,  which  for  a  time  seemed  to  them  so 
promising  that    the  rebel  emissaries  in  Canada, 


ch.  xiil  being  informed  of  it,  gave  encouragement  to  their 
principals  in  Richmond  to  hope  for  the  formation 
of  a  Northwestern  Confederacy  in  opposition  to 
the  National  Government.  Meetings  were  contin- 
ually held,  secret  societies  were  everywhere  active, 
and  every  effort  was  made  in  public  and  in  pri- 
vate to  form  a  basis  of  organized  hostility  against 
the  Government.  The  details  of  this  important 
and  dangerous  movement  are  not  worth  record- 
ing; its  culmination  may  be  regarded  as  having 
taken  place  at  Springfield,  Illinois,  on  the  17th 
1863.  of  June.  A  mass  meeting,  enormous  in  num- 
bers and  wild  with  enthusiasm,  under  the  presi- 
dency of  Senator  Richardson,  listened  during  all  a 
summer's  day  to  the  most  furious  and  vehement 
oratory,  and  at  last  passed  resolutions  demanding 
nothing  less  than  submission  to  the  South.  They 
resolved  "that  a  further  offensive  prosecution  of 
this  war  tends  to  subvert  the  Constitution  and  the 
Government,  and  entails  upon  this  nation  all  the 
disastrous  consequences  of  misrule  and  anarchy"; 
that  they  were  "  in  favor  of  peace  upon  a  basis  of 
restoration  of  the  Union  " ;  for  the  accomplishment 
of  which  they  proposed  u  a  national  Convention  to 
settle  upon  terms  of  peace,  which  should  have  in 
view  the  restoration  of  the  Union  as  it  was,  and 
the  securing  by  constitutional  amendment  of  such 
rights  of  the  several  States,  and  people  thereof,  as 
honor  and  justice  demand." 

This  bold  challenge  was  accepted  by  the  Repub- 
licans with  equal  determination  and  superior  means. 
The  guns  of  Vicksburg  and  of  Gettysburg  might 
have  been  regarded  as  sufficient  answer  to  the  res- 
olutions of  the  Springfield  mass  meeting;  but  the 


Copperheads 1  of  that  State  only  clamored  the  louder  ch.  xiii. 
for  peace  after  these  great  victories,  and  the  political 
canvass  went  on  with  tenfold  vehemence  in  the  tacit 
truce  of  arms  that  followed  the  battles  of  July.  The 
Eepublicans  prepared  for  the  beginning  of  Sep- 
tember the  greatest  mass  meeting  of  the  campaign ; 
and  to  give  especial  significance  to  the  occasion,  it 
was  to  take  place  at  the  home  of  Lincoln,  on  the 
very  spot  where  defiant  treason  had  trumpeted  to 
the  world  its  challenge  in  June. 

It  was  the  ardent  wish  of  the  Illinois  Republicans 
that  Mr.  Lincoln  might  be  with  them  on  this  impor- 
tant day.  James  C.  Conkling,  Chairman  of  the 
Committee  of  Arrangements,  wrote,  urging  him  to 
come  in  person.    He  said  : 

There  is  a  had  element  in  this  State,  as  well  as 
others,  and  every  public  demonstration  in  favor  of  law 
and  order  and  constitutional  government  will  have  a 
favorable  influence.  The  importance  of  our  meeting, 
therefore,  at  the  capital  of  a  State  which  has  sent  so  Conk]ing 
many  soldiers  into  the  army,  and  which  exercises  such  a  to  Lincoln, 
controlling  power  in  the  West,  cannot  be  overestimated.    1863.  ms. 

For  a  moment  the  President  cherished  the  hope 
of  going  to  Springfield,  and  once  more  in  his  life 
renewing  the  sensation,  so  dear  to  politicians,  of 
personal  contact  with  great  and  enthusiastic  masses, 
and  of  making  one  more  speech  to  shouting  thou- 

1  The  "  peace  Democrats  "  of  the  sumed  and  borne  with  "bravado  by 
North  were  variously  nicknamed  the  younger  Democrats,  who,  in 
"Butternuts"  and  "  Copper-  some  instances,  wore  butternuts 
heads."  The  former  name  re-  as  breastpins,  and  in  others,  with 
ferred  to  the  domestic  dye  which  a  clever  return  upon  their  oppo- 
gave  color  to  the  uniforms  of  the  nents,  cut  the  copper  head  of  the 
Confederate  soldiers,  and  the  Goddess  of  Liberty  from  the  old- 
latter  was  the  name  of  the  most  fashioned  red  cent  and,  with  a  pin 
venomous  snake  in  the  West.  In  fastened  to  its  back,  wore  it  as 
each  case  the  nickname  was  as-  their  cognizance. 


ch.  xiii.  sands  of  his  fellow-citizens.  The  temptation,  how- 
ever, only  lasted  for  a  moment;  and  instead  of  going, 
he  wrote  a  letter  which  was  read  amid  the  hnshed 
attention  of  an  immense  anditory,  and  passed  in  a 
moment  into  the  small  number  of  American  political 
classics.  The  meeting  was  an  extraordinary  one  in 
numbers  and  in  hot  tumultuous  feeling;  it  was 
addressed  by  the  greatest  orators  of  the  Eepublican 
party;  speaking  went  on  continuously  at  many 
stands  from  morning  until  twilight.  The  speeches 
were  marked  by  the  most  advanced  and  unflinch- 
ing Republican  doctrine ;  the  proclamation  of 
emancipation,  the  arming  of  negroes,  received  uni- 
versal adhesion ;  and,  of  course,  every  reference  to 
Mr.  Lincoln's  name  was  received  with  thunders  of 
applause ;  but  with  all  these  features  of  the  highest 
interest  and  importance,  the  meeting  can  only  live 
in  the  memories  of  men  as  the  occasion  of  the  letter 

Aug.26,i863.  which  Mr.  Lincoln  wrote  to  its  chairman.   He  said: 

Your  letter,  inviting  me  to  attend  a  mass  meeting  of 
unconditional  Union  men,  to  be  held  at  the  capital  of 
Illinois  on  the  3d  day  of  September,  has  been  received. 
It  would  be  very  agreeable  to  me  to  thus  meet  my  old 
friends  at  my  own  home,  but  I  cannot  just  now  be  absent 
from  here  so  long  as  a  visit  there  would  require. 

The  meeting  is  to  be  of  all  those  who  maintain  uncon- 
ditional devotion  to  the  Union,  and  I  am  sure  my  old 
political  friends  will  thank  me  for  tendering,  as  I  do,  the 
nation's  gratitude  to  those  other  noble  men  whom  no 
partisan  malice  or  partisan  hope  can  make  false  to  the 
nation's  life. 

There  are  those  who  are  dissatisfied  with  me.  To  such 
I  would  say :  You  desire  peace,  and  you  blame  me  that  we 
do  not  have  it.  But  how  can  we  attain  it  ?  There  are 
but  three  conceivable  ways.  First,  to  suppress  the  rebel- 
lion by  force  of  arms.  This  I  am  trying  to  do.  Are  you 
for  it  ?    If  you  are,  so  far  we  are  agreed.    If  you  are  not 

THE    DEFEAT    OF    THE    PEACE    PARTY   AT    THE    POLLS  381 

for  it,  a  second  way  is  to  give  up  the  Union.    I  am  against    ch.  xm. 
this.    Are  you  for  it  ?    If  you  are,  you  should  say  so  plainly. 
If  you  are  not  for  force,  nor  yet  for  dissolution,  there  only 
remains  some  imaginable  compromise. 

I  do  not  believe  any  compromise  embracing  the  main- 
tenance of  the  Union  is  now  possible.  All  I  learn  leads 
to  a  directly  opposite  belief.  The  strength  of  the  rebel- 
lion is  its  military  —  its  army.  That  army  dominates  all 
the  country  and  all  the  people  within  its  range.  Any  offer 
of  terms  made  by  any  man  or  men  within  that  range,  in 
opposition  to  that  army,  is  simply  nothing  for  the  present, 
because  such  man  or  men  have  no  power  whatever  to 
enforce  their  side  of  a  compromise  if  one  were  made 
with  them. 

To  illustrate:  Suppose  refugees  from  the  South  and 
peace  men  of  the  North  get  together  in  Convention  and 
frame  and  proclaim  a  compromise  embracing  a  restora- 
tion of  the  Union,  in  what  way  can  that  compromise  be 
used  to  keep  Lee's  army  out  of  Pennsylvania  ?  Meade's 
army  can  keep  Lee's  army  out  of  Pennsylvania,  and  I 
think  can  ultimately  drive  it  out  of  existence.  But  no 
paper  compromise  to  which  the  controllers  of  Lee's  army 
are  not  agreed  can  at  all  affect  that  army.  In  an  effort 
at  such  compromise  we  should  waste  time  which  the 
enemy  would  improve  to  our  disadvantage,  and  that 
would  be  all. 

A  compromise,  to  be  effective,  must  be  made  either 
with  those  who  control  the  rebel  army,  or  with  the  people 
first  liberated  from  the  domination  of  that  army  by  the 
success  of  our  own  army.  Now,  allow  me  to  assure  you 
that  no  word  or  intimation  from  that  rebel  army,  or  from 
any  of  the  men  controlling  it,  in  relation  to  any  peace 
compromise,  has  ever  come  to  my  knowledge  or  belief. 
All  charges  and  insinuations  to  the  contrary  are  deceptive 
and  groundless.  And  I  promise  you  that  if  any  such 
proposition  shall  hereafter  come,  it  shall  not  be  rejected 
and  kept  a  secret  from  you.  I  freely  acknowledge  my- 
self the  servant  of  the  people  according  to  the  bond  of 
service, —  the  United  States  Constitution, —  and  that  as 
such  I  am  responsible  to  them. 

But,  to  be  plain,  you  are  dissatisfied  with  me  about  the 
negro.     Quite  likely  there  is  a  difference  of  opinion  be- 


ch.  xiii.  tween  you  and  myself  upon  that  subject.  I  certainly 
wish  that  all  men  could  be  free,  while  I  suppose  you  do  not. 
Yet  I  have  neither  adopted  nor  proposed  any  measure 
which  is  not  consistent  with  even  your  view,  provided  you 
are  for  the  Union.  I  suggested  compensated  emancipa- 
tion, to  which  you  replied  you  wished  not  to  be  taxed  to 
buy  negroes.  But  I  had  not  asked  you  to  be  taxed  to  buy 
negroes,  except  in  such  way  as  to  save  you  from  greater 
taxation  to  save  the  Union  exclusively  by  other  means. 

You  dislike  the  Emancipation  Proclamation,  andperhaps 
would  have  it  retracted.  You  say  it  is  unconstitutional. 
I  think  differently.  I  think  the  Constitution  invests  its 
Commander-in-Chief  with  the  law  of  war  in  time  of  war. 
The  most  that  can  be  said  —  if  so  much  —  is  that  slaves 
are  property.  Is  there,  has  there  ever  been,  any  question 
that  by  the  law  of  war,  property,  both  of  enemies  and 
friends,  may  be  taken  when  needed?  And  is  it  not 
needed  whenever  taking  it  helps  us  or  hurts  the  enemy  ? 
Armies,  the  world  over,  destroy  enemies'  property  when 
they  cannot  use  it,  and  even  destroy  their  own  to  keep  it 
from  the  enemy.  Civilized  belligerents  do  all  in  their 
power  to  help  themselves  or  hurt  the  enemy,  except  a  few 
things  regarded  as  barbarous  or  cruel.  Among  the  ex- 
ceptions are  the  massacre  of  vanquished  foes  and  non- 
combatants,  male  and  female. 

But  the  proclamation,  as  law,  either  is  valid  or  is  not 
valid.  If  it  is  not  valid  it  needs  no  retraction.  If  it 
is  valid  it  cannot  be  retracted,  any  more  than  the  dead 
can  be  brought  to  life.  Some  of  you  profess  to  think  its 
retraction  would  operate  favorably  for  the  Union.  Why 
better  after  the  retraction  than  before  the  issue  ?  There 
was  more  than  a  year  and  a  half  of  trial  to  suppress  the 
rebellion  before  the  proclamation  issued;  the  last  one 
hundred  days  of  which  passed  under  an  explicit  notice 
that  it  was  coming,  unless  averted  by  those  in  revolt 
returning  to  their  allegiance.  The  war  has  certainly 
progressed  as  favorably  for  us  since  the  issue  of  the  proc- 
lamation as  before. 

I  know,  as  fully  as  one  can  know  the  opinions  of  others, 
that  some  of  the  commanders  of  our  armies  in  the  field, 
who  have  given  us  our  most  important  successes,  believe 
the  emancipation  policy  and  the  use  of  the  colored  troops 


constitute  the  heaviest  blow  yet  dealt  to  the  rebellion,  ch.  xiii. 
and  that  at  least  one  of  these  important  successes  could 
not  have  been  achieved  when  it  was  but  for  the  aid  of 
black  soldiers.  Among  the  commanders  holding  these 
views  are  some  who  have  never  had  any  affinity  with 
what  is  called  Abolitionism  or  with  Republican  party 
politics,  but  who  hold  them  purely  as  military  opinions.  I 
submit  these  opinions  as  being  entitled  to  some  weight 
against  the  objections  often  urged  that  emancipation  and 
arming  the  blacks  are  unwise  as  military  measures,  and 
were  not  adopted  as  such  in  good  faith. 

You  say  you  will  not  fight  to  free  negroes.  Some  of 
them  seem  willing  to  fight  for  you  —  but  no  matter. 
Fight  you,  then,  exclusively  to  save  the  Union.  I  issued 
the  proclamation  on  purpose  to  aid  you  in  saving  the 
Union.  Whenever  you  shall  have  conquered  all  resist- 
ance to  the  Union,  if  I  shall  urge  you  to  continue  fight- 
ing, it  will  be  an  apt  time  then  for  you  to  declare  you 
will  not  fight  to  free  negroes.  I  thought  that  in  your 
struggle  for  the  Union,  to  whatever  extent  the  negroes 
should  cease  helping  the  enemy,  to  that  extent  it  weakened 
the  enemy  in  his  resistance  to  you.  Do  you  think  differ- 
ently ?  I  thought  that  whatever  negroes  can  be  got  to  do 
as  soldiers  leaves  just  so  much  less  for  white  soldiers 
to  do  in  saving  the  Union.  Does  it  appear  otherwise  to 
you  1  But  negroes,  like  other  people,  act  upon  motives. 
Why  should  they  do  anything  for  us  if  we  will  do  nothing 
for  them  ?  If  they  stake  their  lives  for  us,  they  must  be 
prompted  by  the  strongest  motive,  even  the  promise  of 
freedom.    And  the  promise,  being  made,  must  be  kept. 

The  signs  look  better.  The  Father  of  Waters  again 
goes  un vexed  to  the  sea.  Thanks  to  the  great  Northwest 
for  it.  Nor  yet  wholly  to  them.  Three  hundred  miles  up 
they  met  New  England,  Empire,  Keystone,  and  Jersey, 
hewing  their  way  right  and  left.  The  sunny  South,  too, 
in  more  colors  than  one,  also  lent  a  hand.  On  the  spot, 
their  part  of  the  history  was  jotted  down  in  black  and 
white.  The  job  was  a  great  national  one,  and  let  none 
be  banned  who  bore  an  honorable  part  in  it.  And  while 
those  who  have  cleared  the  great  river  may  well  be  proud, 
even  that  is  not  all.  It  is  hard  to  say  that  anything  has 
been  more  bravely  and  well  done  than  at  Antietam,  Mur- 


ch.  xiii.  freesboro,  Gettysburg,  and  on  many  fields  of  lesser  note. 
Nor  must  Uncle  Sam's  web-feet  be  forgotten.  At  all  the 
watery  margins  they  have  been  present.  Not  only  on  the 
deep  sea,  the  broad  bay,  and  the  rapid  river,  but  also  up 
the  narrow,  muddy  bayou ;  and  wherever  the  ground  was 
a  little  damp,  they  have  been  and  made  their  tracks. 
Thanks  to  all.  For  the  great  Republic  —  for  the  principle 
it  lives  by  and  keeps  alive  —  for  man's  vast  future  — 
thanks  to  all. 

Peace  does  not  appear  so  distant  as  it  did.  I  hope  it 
will  come  soon,  and  come  to  stay ;  and  so  come  as  to  be 
worth  the  keeping  in  all  future  time.  It  will  then  have 
been  proved  that  among  free  men  there  can  be  no  success- 
ful appeal  from  the  ballot  to  the  bullet,  and  that  they 
who  take  such  appeal  are  sure  to  lose  their  case  and  pay 
the  cost.  And  then  there  will  be  some  black  men  who  can 
remember  that  with  silent  tongue,  and  clenched  teeth, 
and  steady  eye,  and  well-poised  bayonet  they  have  helped 
mankind  on  to  this  great  consummation ;  while  I  fear 
there  will  be  some  white  ones  unable  to  forget  that  with 
malignant  heart  and  deceitful  speech  they  strove  to 
hinder  it. 

Still,  let  us  not  be  over  sanguine  of  a  speedy,  final 
to  Jamesc.  triumph.    Let  us  be  quite  sober.    Let  us  diligently  apply 

c*^1^    the  means,  never  doubting  that  a  just  God,  in  his  own 
1863.  '      good  time,  will  give  us  the  rightful  result. 

Among  all  the  state  papers  of  Mr.  Lincoln  from 
his  nomination  to  his  death  this  letter  is  unique. 
It  may  be  called  his  last  stump-speech,  the  only 
one  made  during  his  Presidency.  We  find  in  it 
all  the  qualities  that  made  him  in  Illinois  the  in- 
comparable political  leader  of  his  party  for  a  gen- 
eration. There  is  the  same  close,  unerring  logic, 
the  same  innate  perception  of  political  conduct, 
the  same  wit  and  sarcasm,  the  same  touch  of  pic- 
turesque eloquence,  which  abounded  in  his  earlier 
and  more  careless  oratory,  but  all  wonderfully 
heightened,  strengthened,  and  chastened  by  a  sense 



of  immense  responsibility.  In  this  letter,  which  ch.  xiii. 
the  chairman  took  only  ten  minutes  to  read,  he  said 
more  than  all  the  orators  at  all  the  stands.  It  was, 
like  most  of  his  speeches,  addressed  principally  to 
his  opponents,  and  in  this  short  space  he  appealed 
successively  to  their  reason,  to  their  sympathies, 
and  to  their  fears.  By  a  succession  of  unanswer- 
able syllogisms  he  showed  them  how  untenable  was 
their  position.  He  appealed  to  their  generosity, 
to  their  sense  of  duty,  to  their  patriotism,  even  to 
their  love  of  glory,  and  in  the  end  he  held  out  to 
them  with  dignified  austerity  the  prospect  of  shame 
and  self-reproach  which  lay  before  them  if  they 
continued  their  hostility  to  the  sacred  cause  of 
humanity  and  nationality.  The  style  of  this  letter 
is  as  remarkable  as  its  matter ;  each  sentence,  like 
a  trained  athlete,  is  divested  of  every  superfluous 
word  and  syllable,  yet  nowhere  is  there  a  word 
lacking,  any  more  than  a  word  too  much.  Modest 
as  he  was,  he  knew  the  value  of  his  own  work,  and 
when  a  friend  called  to  ask  him  if  he  was  going  to 
Springfield  he  replied,  "No,  I  shall  send  them  a 
letter  instead;  and  it  will  be  a  rather  good  letter."1 

l  Nothing  lie  ever  uttered  had  which  the  President  most  appreci- 

a  more    instantaneous    success,  ated  was  one  from  the  venerable 

Mr.  Sumner  immediately  wrote  Josiah  Quincy,  then  ninety-cne 

to  him:  "Thanks  for  your  true  years  of  age,  who  wrote:  "Old 

and  noble  letter.     It  is  a  histori-  age  has  its  privileges,  which  I 

cal  document.     The  case  is  ad-  hope  this  letter  will  not  exceed ; 

mirably  stated,    so   that  all  but  but  I  cannot  refrain  from  express-          MS. 

the    wicked    must     confess    its  ing  to  you  my  gratification  and 

force.     It  cannot  be  answered."  my  gratitude  for  your  letter  to 

Henry  Wilson  wrote  him :  "  God  the  Illinois  Convention  —  happy, 

Almighty  bless  youf  or  your  noble,  timely,  conclusive,  and  effective, 

patriotic,    and  Christian  letter.  What  you  say  concerning  eman- 

It  will  be  on  the  lips  and  in  the  cipation,  your  proclamation,  and 

hearts  of  hundreds  of  thousands  your    course    of    proceeding    in          MS. 

this  day."      Among  the   letters  relation  to  it  was  due  to  truth 

Vol.  VII.— 25 



Ch.  XIII. 

"  History 




p.  315. 


The  Springfield  Convention,  taking  up  the  gaunt- 
let thrown  down  by  the  disloyal  mass-meeting  of 
June,  resolved  "  that  we  will  lay  aside  all  party 
questions  and  forget  all  party  prejudices  and  de- 
vote ourselves  unreservedly  to  the  support  of  our 
Government,  until  the  rebellion  shall  be  finally  and 
forever  crushed " ;  they  resolved  that  "  whatever 
else  may  die,  the  Union  shall  live  to  perpetuate 
civil  liberty ;  whatever  else  may  perish,  the  Gov- 
ernment shall  survive  in  all  its  constitutional 
integrity;  whatever  else  may  be  destroyed,  the 
nation  shall  be  preserved  in  its  territorial  unity ; 
and  to  this  end  we  pledge  anew  our  lives,  our  for- 
tunes, and  our  sacred  honor." 

In  this  spirit  the  campaign  was  fought  through 
to  its  victorious  close,  and  on  the  night  of  the  3d 
of  November  the  President,  sitting  in  the  War 
Department,  had  the  pleasure  of  learning  from  all 
the  clicking  wires  about  him  that  the  cause  of 
nationality  and  freedom  was  triumphant  from  one 
end  of  the  Union  to  the  other ;  that  the  people  had 
come  up  fully  abreast  of  him  on  the  question  of 
emancipation,  and  that  the  nation  was  now  sub- 
stantially united  in  the  resolute  purpose  to  prose- 
cute the  war  to  its  legitimate  conclusion.    These 

and  to  your  own  character,  shame- 
fully assailed  as  it  has  been.  The 
development  is  an  imperishable 
monument  of  wisdom  and  virtue." 
After  discussing  the  question  of 
MS.  emancipation,  he  continued  :  "I 

write  under  the  impression  that 
the  victory  of  the  United  States 
in  this  war  is  inevitable ;  com- 
promise is  impossible.  Peace  on 
any  other  basis  would  be  the  es- 
tablishment of  two  nations,  each 

hating  the  other,  both  military, 
both  necessarily  warlike,  their 
territories  interlocked  with  a 
tendency  of  never-ceasing  hostil- 
ity. Can  we  leave  to  posterity  a 
more  cruel  inheritance,  or  one 
more  hopeless  of  happiness  and 
prosperity  ? "  Mr.  Lincoln  an- 
swered this  letter  in  a  tone 
expressive  of  his  reverence  for 
the  age  and  illustrious  character 
of  the  writer. 


victories  at  the  polls  made  sure  the  good  results  of  ch.  xiii. 
this  summer  of  battles ;  the  Administration  felt 
itself  confirmed  anew  and  strengthened  for  the 
work  before  it.  To  those  members  of  the  Ad- 
ministration who  had  formerly  acted  with  the 
Democratic  party  there  was  a  certain  sense  of 
humiliation  and  disappointment.  Mr.  Stanton  said, 
"  The  disheartening  thing  in  the  affair  was  that 
there  seemed  to  be  no  patriotic  principle  left  in  the 
Democratic  party,  the  whole  organization  voting  j:h., 
solidly  against  the  country."  Mr.  Seward,  on  the  Nov.  3,1864. 
contrary,  came  back  from  Auburn,  where  he  had 
gone  home  to  vote,  in  high  content.  He  con- 
sidered the  political  attitude  of  New  York  abso- 
lutely safe  in  the  present  and  future.  He  thought 
"the  crowd  that  follows  power  had  come  over 
to  the  Republicans;  the  Democrats  had  lost  their 
leaders  when  Toombs  and  Davis  and  Breckinridge 
forsook  them  and  went  South  ;  the  inferior  North- 
ern Democrats  who  succeeded  to  the  leadership 
had  proved  their  incompetency ;  the  best  and  most 
energetic  portion  of  the  rank  and  file  of  the  party 
were  now  voting  shoulder  to  shoulder  with  the 
Republicans.  No  party,"  he  said,  "  can  survive  an 
opposition  to  a  war.  The  Revolutionary  heroes 
were  political  oracles  till  1812,  and  afterwards  the 
4  soldiers  of  the  late  war'  succeeded  to  their  honors. 
But  we  are  hereafter  a  nation  of  soldiers.  These 
people  will  be  trying  to  forget  years  hence  that 
they  ever  opposed  this  war.  I  had  to  carry  af- 
fidavits to  prove  I  had  nothing  to  do  with  the 
Hartford  Convention.  Now  the  party  that  gained 
eminence  by  the  folly  of  the  Federalists  in  opposing 
the  war  have  the  chalice  commended  to  their  own 


ch.  xiii.  lips.  I  told  the  Democratic  leaders,"  lie  said,  with 
his  habitual  subacid  good  nature,  "how  they  might 
have  saved  themselves  and  carried  the  next  Presi- 
dential election  by  being  more  loyal  and  earnest  in 
support  of  the  Administration  than  the  Republican 
j.  h.,  party.  The  Lord  knows  that  would  not  have  been 
Nov!as!W.  hard." 

Although  in  this  memorable  contest  the  Re- 
publicans presented  a  united  front  to  the  common 
enemy,  within  their  own  organization  there  were 
those  bitter  differences  of  opinion  which  always 
arise  among  men  of  strong  convictions.  The  Presi- 
dent's anteroom  was  thronged  with  earnest  men 
who  desired  to  warn  him  in  person  against  the 
machinations  of  other  men  equally  earnest,  and  his 
mail  was  encumbered  by  letters  from  every  part  of 
the  country,  and  every  shade  of  faction,  filled  with 
similar  denunciations  and  warnings.  The  pure  and 
able  Senator  Dixon  of  Connecticut  wrote:  "The 
heresies  of  Sumner  are  doing  immense  harm  in  a 
variety  of  ways.  If  his  doctrine  prevails  this 
country  will  be  ruined.  I  do  hope  you  and  Mr. 
ms.       Seward  will  stand  firm." 

From  the  other  wing  of  the  party  came  the  most 
passionate  denunciations  of  Seward  and  those  who 
were  associated  with  him  in  the  popular  mind ;  and 
after  the  election  Senator  Zachariah  Chandler  of 
Michigan,  one  of  the  most  powerful  of  the  Republi- 
cans who  had  by  this  time  assumed  to  themselves 
the  title  of  Radicals,  having  seen  in  the  newspapers 
a  paragraph  that  Mr.  Thurlow  Weed  and  Governor 
Morgan  had  been  in  consultation  with  the  Presi- 
dent in  regard  to  his  message,  wrote  a  vehement 
letter  to  the  President,  telling  him  there  was  a  "pa- 


triotic  organization  in  all  the  free  and  border  States,  ch.  xiii. 
containing  to-day  over  one  million  of  voters,  every 
man  of  whom  is  your  friend  upon  the  Radical  meas- 
ures of  your  Administration;  but  there  is  not  a  Sew- 
ard, Weed,  or  Blair  man  among  them  all.  How  are 
these  men,"  he  asked,  "  to  be  of  service  to  you  in  any 
way  1  They  are  a  millstone  about  your  neck.  You 
drop  them  and  they  are  politically  ended  forever. 
.  .  .  Conservatives  and  traitors  are  buried  together. 
For  G-od's  sake  don't  exhume  their  remains  in  your 
message.  They  will  smell  worse  than  Lazarus  did  t<?hL£?oin, 
after  he  had  been  buried  three  days."  There  was  isg^'ms. 
no  man  slower  than  Mr.  Lincoln  to  take  personal 
offense  at  even  the  most  indiscreet  advice  or  cen- 
sure ;  but  he  answered  this  letter  of  Mr.  Chandler 
in  a  tone  of  unusual  dignity  and  severity.  "  I  have 
seen,"  he  said,  "Governor  Morgan  and  Thurlow 
Weed  separately,  but  not  together,  within  the  last 
ten  days ;  but  neither  of  them  mentioned  the  forth- 
coming message  or  said  anything,  so  far  as  I  can 
remember,  which  brought  the  thought  of  the  mes- 
sage to  my  mind.  I  am  very  glad  the  elections  this 
autumn  have  gone  favorably  and  that  I  have  not 
by  native  depravity  or  under  evil  influences  done 
anything  bad  enough  to  prevent  the  good  result.  I 
hope  to  'stand  firm'  enough  to  not  go  backward,  ciSmXr? 
and  yet  not  go  forward  fast  enough  to  wreck  the  isbsT'ms. 
country's  cause." 

In  the  month  of  October  Mr.  Hood,  the  postmaster 
at  Chattanooga,  wrote  to  the  President  a  letter 
setting  forth  the  particulars  of  a  scheme  which 
Emerson  Etheridge,  Clerk  of  the  House  of  Repre- 
sentatives, had  entered  into  to  give  control  of  the 
next  House  to  the  opposition.    Etheridge  was  a 


oh.  xiii.  Member  of  Congress  from  Tennessee  before  the 
war,  and  his  sincere  attachment  to  the  Union  in 
the  face  of  much  obloquy  and  persecution  at  home 
had  endeared  him  to  the  Republicans  in  Congress 
and  caused  him  to  be  given  the  post  of  Clerk  of  the 
House;  but  in  the  course  of  two  years  of  war  he 
had  become  separated  from  his  former  political 
affiliations  and  now  sympathized  with  the  opposi- 
tion. Mr.  Hood,  who  wrote  apparently  with  great 
regret  as  a  personal  friend  of  Etheridge,  claimed 
to  have  become  aware  of  Etheridge's  intention  to 
leave  off  the  rolls  of  the  House  the  names  of  all 
Members  whose  certificates  did  not  bear  on  their 
face  the  statement  that  they  had  been  elected  "  ac- 
cording to  the  laws  of  the  State  or  of  the  United 
States."  He  based  this  action  upon  the  provisions 
of  a  law  which  had  been  hurriedly  passed  during 
the  last  day  of  the  Thirty-seventh  Congress.  At 
the  same  time  it  was  understood  that  he  had  inti- 
mated to  the  Democratic  Members  what  his  action 
would  be,  so  as  to  allow  them  to  provide  them- 
selves with  certificates  in  the  form  required. 

The  President,  on  the  receipt  of  this  news,  put 
himself  confidentially  in  communication  with  lead- 
ing Republicans  in  all  the  loyal  States,  requesting 
them,  without  publicity,  to  have  prepared  duplicate 
certificates  meeting  the  objection  which  it  was 
thought  Etheridge  would  raise  to  the  ordinary 
ones.  This  was  in  most  cases  attended  to,  but  not 
in  all,  so  that  when  the  Members  began  to  arrive  in 
Washington  a  few  days  before  the  day  fixed  for  the 
opening  of  Congress  a  general  impression  of  the 
contemplated  action  of  Etheridge  had  transpired, 
and  there  was  some  uneasiness  in  regard  to  the 


issue.  The  President  had  done  what  he  could  to  ch.  xiii. 
meet  the  legal  requirements  of  the  case ;  but,  that 
having  been  done,  he  was  not  inclined  to  rely  ex- 
clusively upon  moral  force.  In  view  of  the  threat- 
ened outrage  he  sent  for  some  of  the  leading 
Congressmen  and  told  them  the  main  thing  was 
to  be  sure  that  all  the  Union  Members  should  be 
present.  "Then,"  he  said,  "if  Mr.  Etheridge 
undertakes  revolutionary  proceedings,  let  him  be 
carried  out  on  a  chip,  and  let  our  men  organize  Personal 
the  House."  This  practical  solution  of  the  trouble  randamMs. 
had  occurred  to  others,  and  the  Eev.  Owen  Love- 
joy,  disregarding  for  a  moment  the  etiquette  of 
his  sacred  calling,  announced  that  he  was  quite 
ready  himself  to  take  charge  of  Etheridge,  and 
was  confident  of  his  muscular  superiority  to  the 

There  was  not  so  much  uncertainty  in  regard  to 
the  issue  as  to  prevent  an  animated  contest  among 
the  Republicans  for  the  caucus  nomination  for  the 
Speakership.  The  prominent  candidates  were 
Schuyler  Colfax  of  Indiana  and  Elihu  B.  Wash- 
burne  of  Illinois.  Samuel  S.  Cox  of  Ohio  was  the 
principal  candidate  for  the  barren  honor  of  the 
caucus  nomination  among  the  Democrats ;  though 
for  some  time  before  the  meeting  of  Congress  there 
was  a  good  deal  of  not  very  practical  talk  in  re- 
gard to  the  nomination  of  General  Frank  P.  Blair 
of  Missouri  as  a  compromise  candidate  to  be  sup- 
ported by  the  Democrats  and  by  a  few  of  the 
so-called  Conservative  Republicans.  G-eneral  Blair, 
while  one  of  the  earliest  and  ablest  Republicans  of 
the  border  States,  one  who  had  distinguished  him- 
self equally  in  politics  and  in  the  field  in  the  cause 


ch.  xni.  of  freedom  and  of  progress,  had,  through  the  vehe- 
mence of  the  factional  fight  which  had  so  long 
been  raging  in  Missouri,  been  gradually  forced, 
partly  by  the  denunciations  of  his  enemies  and 
partly  by  his  own  combative  instincts,  into  an  atti- 
tude almost  of  hostility  to  the  Eepublican  party  of 
the  nation.  Mr.  Lincoln  saw  this  with  great  regret. 
He  had  a  high  personal  regard  for  Blair,  and  de- 
plored the  predicament  into  which  his  passionate 
temper  and  the  assaults  of  his  enemies  were  grad- 
ually crowding  him.  In  the  autumn  of  1863  the 
Postmaster-General,  in  conversation  with  the  Pres- 
ident, said  that  his  brother  Frank  would  be  guided 
by  the  President's  wishes  as  to  whether  he  should 
continue  with  his  command  in  the  field  or  take  the 
seat  in  Congress  to  which  he  had  been  elected  from 
Missouri.  The  President  answered  in  a  letter, 
1863«       dated  2d  of  November,  saying : 

Some  days  ago  I  understood  you  to  say  that  your 
brother,  General  Frank  Blair,  desires  to  he  guided  by  my 
wishes  as  to  whether  he  will  occupy  his  seat  in  Congress 
or  remain  in  the  field.  My  wish,  then,  is  compounded  of 
what  I  believe  will  be  best  for  the  country  and  best  for 
him ;  and  it  is  that  he  will  come  here,  put  his  military 
commission  in  my  hands,  take  his  seat,  go  into  caucus 
with  our  friends,  abide  the  nominations,  help  elect  the 
nominees,  and  thus  aid  to  organize  a  House  of  Represent- 
atives which  will  really  support  the  Government  in  the 
war.  If  the  result  shall  be  the  election  of  himself  as 
Speaker,  let  him  serve  in  that  position ;  if  not,  let  him 
retake  his  commission  and  return  to  the  army.  For  the 
country  this  will  heal  a  dangerous  schism ;  for  him  it  will 
relieve  from  a  dangerous  position.  By  a  misunderstand- 
ing, as  I  think,  he  is  in  danger  of  being  permanently  sep- 
arated from  those  with  whom  only  he  can  ever  have  a 
real  sympathy  —  the  sincere  opponents  of  slavery.  It 
will  be  a  mistake  if  he  shall  allow  the  provocations  offered 

THE    DEFEAT    OF    THE    PEACE    PARTY    AT    THE    POLLS  393 

him  by  insincere  time-servers  to  drive  him  out  of  the    ch.  xiii. 
house  of  his  own  building.    He  is  young  yet.    He  has 
abundant  talent  —  quite  enough  to  occupy  all  his  time 
without  devoting  any  to  temper.     He  is  rising  in  military 
skill  and  usefulness.     His  recent  appointment  to  the  com- 
mand of  a  corps,  by  one  so  competent  to  judge  as  Gen- 
eral Sherman,  proves  this.     In  that  line  he  can  serve 
both  the  country  and  himself  more  profitably  than  he       Mont- 
could  as  a  Member  of  Congress  on  the  floor.    The  fore-      gBiafi\y 
going  is  what  I  would  say  if  Frank  Blair  were  my  Novms?863 
brother  instead  of  yours. 

In  pursuance  of  this  letter  Blair  came  to  Wash- 
ington, though  before  Congress  assembled  his  can- 
didacy for  the  Speakership  had  passed  out  of 
sight.  He  took  his  seat,  served  for  some  months, 
and  went  back  to  the  army  in  command  of  a  corps, 
as  the  President  had  promised.  This  relinquish- 
ment of  and  restoration  to  a  high  command  in  the 
army  occasioned  much  feeling  and  a  violent  attack 
upon  the  President  on  the  part  of  the  Eadical 
Bepublicans,  which  continued  even  after  he  had 
submitted  in  a  message  to  Congress  the  entire 
correspondence,  which  reflected  nothing  but  credit 
upon  all  parties. 

The  canvass  for  Speaker  closed  on  Saturday 
night,  the  5th  of  December,  Washburne  withdraw-  1863. 
ing  from  the  field  and  Colfax  being  nominated  by 
acclamation.  All  the  next  day  there  was  great  ex- 
citement at  the  hotels  frequented  by  politicians,  in 
regard  to  Etheridge's  proposed  course  of  action, 
which  was  now  no  longer  a  secret  to  any  one.  The 
comments  he  everywhere  heard  upon  his  conduct 
had  its  effect  upon  his  nerves,  and  he  began  to  talk 
in  a  complaining  and  apologetic  tone,  saying  he 
was  simply  obeying  the  law  and  there  was  no  rea- 


ch.  xiii.  son  why  Republicans  should  regard  him  vindic- 
Dec.  7, 1863.  tively.  The  next  day,  when  the  House  opened, 
^rhile  he  did  not  flinch  from  the  position  he  had 
occupied,  he  did  nothing  arbitrary  or  revolution- 
ary. He  left  off  the  roll  the  names  of  all  those 
Members  whose  certificates  were  not,  in  his  opin- 
ion, in  due  form,  but  readily  entertained  a  motion 
to  restore  them.  This  met  with  a  hot  protest  from 
some  of  the  pro-slavery  Members,  but  a  vote  was 
taken  showing  a  majority  of  twenty  for  the  Gov- 
ernment. Mr.  Washburne  nominated  Mr.  Colfax, 
and  he  was  elected  by  the  same  majority  in  a  total 
vote  of  181,  the  Democratic  vote  being  scattered 
among  many  Members,  Mr.  Cox  receiving  more 
than  any  other. 

As  soon  as  Congress  came  together  Fernando 
Wood  renewed  his  furtive  overtures  with  the 
Government  for  the  appointment  of  peace  com- 
missioners from  what  he  called  his  wing  of  the 
Democratic  party,  making  no  secret  of  his  belief 
that  he  himself  was  the  most  appropriate  choice 
which  could  be  made  for  such  a  function.  He 
urged  the  President  to  publish  some  sort  of 
amnesty  for  the  Northern  sympathizers  with  the 
rebellion  which  would  include  Mr.  Vallandigham 
and  permit  him  to  return  to  the  country.  He 
promised  that  in  that  case  there  should  be  two 
Democratic  candidates  in  the  field  at  the  next 
Presidential  election.  The  President  declined  his 
proposition,  but  he  would  not  take  no  for  an  an- 
swer. He  called  again  on  the  morning  of  the  14th 
of  December  and  the  President  refused  to  see  him, 
peSonai  merely  sending  word  by  a  servant  that  he  had 
randa.UMs.  nothing  further  to  say  to  him.    Later  in  the  day 


Mr.  Wood  offered,  in  the  House  of  Representatives,  ch.  xiii. 
a  resolution  requesting  the  President  to  appoint 
commissioners,  "  to  open  negotiations  with  the  au- 
thorities at  Eichmond  to  the  end  that  this  bloody, 
destructive,  and  inhuman  war  shall  cease,  and  the 
Union  be  restored  upon  terms  of  equity,  fraternity,  "Globe," 
and  equality  under  the  Constitution."  ises,  p.  21. 

This  resolution  was  laid  upon  the  table  by  a  party 
vote,  and  Green  Clay  Smith  of  Kentucky  offered 
resolutions  opposing  "  any  .  .  .  proposition  for  peace 
from  any  quarter  so  long  as  there  shall  be  found 
a  rebel  in  arms  against  the  G-overnment ;  and  we 
ignore,"  the  resolutions  continued,  "all  party  names, 
lines,  and  issues,  and  recognize  but  two  parties  in 
this  war  —  patriots  and  traitors."  Second :  "  That 
we  hold  it  to  be  the  duty  of  Congress  to  pass  all 
necessary  bills  to  suppty  men  and  money,  and  the 
duty  of  the  people  to  render  every  aid  in  their  power 
to  the  constituted  authorities  of  the  Government 
in  the  crushing  out  of  the  rebellion  and  in  bringing 
the  leaders  thereof  to  condign  punishment."  The 
third  resolution  tendered  the  thanks  of  Congress  to  Dec0  8, 
the  soldiers  in  the  field.  The  first  resolution  was  pp.  W«. 
passed  by  a  party  vote  of  ninety-three  to  sixty-five; 
the  second  and  third  were  passed  unanimously, 
with  the  exception  of  B.  G.  Harris  of  Maryland. 
Several  times  during  the  session  this  battle  of  res- 
olutions was  renewed,  but  always  with  the  same 
result;  the  Democratic  party  constantly  favoring 
negotiations  for  peace  while  as  constantly  declaring 
their  devotion  to  the  Union,  and  the  Republicans 
repudiating  every  suggestion  of  negotiation  or 
compromise  so  long  as  the  enemies  of  the  republic 
bore  arms  against  it. 



chap. xiv.  AT  the  beginning  of  the  year  1863  the  French 
jljL  had  made  but  little  headway  in  their  conquest 
of  Mexico.  They  had  an  army  of  less  than  thirty 
thousand  men  distributed  from  Vera  Cruz  to  Ori- 
zaba and  scattered  about  in  other  more  or  less  im- 
portant posts.  The  Mexicans  had  a  force  consid- 
erably larger  than  this.  The  greater  part  of  their 
army  was  concentrated  at  Puebla,  with  all  the 
points  between  that  city  and  the  capital  strongly 
held  and  a  large  reserve  under  Alvarez  in  the  State 
of  Guerrero.  It  was  not  until  near  the  end  of 
1863.  February  that  General  Forey  felt  strong  enough  to 
advance  from  Orizaba  upon  the  capital.  He  had 
learned  caution  from  his  former  misadventure,  and 
now  advanced  in  heavy  force  and  with  great  cir- 
cumspection, sending  before  him  proclamations  of 
the  most  pacific  intentions.  The  national  troops 
gathered  to  meet  him  with  the  best  array  that  a 
distracted  country  could  furnish,  and  by  the  middle 
of  March  the  siege  of  Puebla  was  fairly  begun. 
It  took  a  month  of  fighting  before  the  French  had 
penetrated  into  the  city,  and  even  then  their  ad- 
vance was  disputed  by  the  Mexicans  from  street  to 
street,  and  almost  from  house  to  house,  with  the 


most  desperate  valor,  and  as  late  as  the  25th  of  chap.xiv. 
April  the  French  received  their  severest  repulse 
in  the  assault  which  they  made  upon  the  fortified 
convent  of  St.  Inez.  But  on  the  8th  of  May  Gren-  i863. 
eral  Comonfort,  who  commanded  the  cooperating 
force  outside  of  the  city,  was  totally  defeated  by 
General  Bazaine  near  the  village  of  St.  Lorenzo, 
and  driven  away  towards  Mexico,  leaving  Forey 
free  to  reduce  Puebla  at  his  leisure. 

The  city  fell  on  the  19th  of  May,  after  a  laborious 
and  costly  siege  of  two  months,  the  French  captur- 
ing some  fifteen  thousand  men,  of  whom  twenty- 
three  were  generals.  The  Mexicans  could  not  re- 
cover from  this  double  defeat  in  time  to  oppose  the 
triumphant  march  of  the  invaders.  With  Comon- 
f ort's  army  totally  defeated  and  Ortega's  captured 
or  disbanded,  there  was  no  possibility  of  interpos- 
ing an  effectual  resistance  to  the  advance  on  the 
city  of  Mexico,  and  on  the  10th  of  June  Forey  en- 
tered the  capital  amidst  demonstrations  of  delight 
from  the  French  population  and  the  reactionary 
church  party,  which  might  well  have  deceived  him 
in  regard  to  the  sentiments  of  the  majority  of  the 
people.  He  issued  a  manifesto  announcing  that 
his  mission  had  but  two  objects,  one  being  the 
glory  of  the  French  arms,  and  the  other  the  estab- 
lishment in  Mexico  of  a  government  which  should 
practice  justice,  probity,  and  good  faith  in  its  for- 
eign relations  and  liberty  at  home  ;  "  but  liberty," 
he  gave  it  to  be  understood,  "  walking  in  the  path 
of  order,  with  respect  for  religion,  property,  and 

He  at  once  organized,  with  the  assistance  of  M. 
de  Saligny,  his  diplomatic  colleague,  a  provisional 


chap.  xiv.  government.  He  appointed  a  superior  council  of 
thirty-five,  which  in  turn  elected  a  triumvirate, 
consisting  of  General  Almonte,  the  Archbishop  of 
Mexico,  and  General  Salas,  which  formed  the  ex- 
ecutive power.  An  assembly  of  notables  was  then 
1863  called  together,  which  convened  on  the  10th  of  July, 
and  at  once,  with  a  unanimity  rarely  encountered 
off  the  stage,  declared  for  an  imperial  government 
and  selected  as  emperor  the  Archduke  Maximilian 
of  Austria.  The  next  month  an  imposing  deputa- 
tion, at  the  head  of  which  was  Senor  Gutierrez  de 
Estrada,  sailed  for  Europe  charged  to  tender  the 
crown  of  Mexico  to  Prince  Maximilian,  and,  in  case 
of  his  refusal,  to  any  one  whom  the  Emperor  of 
France  should  designate. 

General  Forey  had  done  his  work  with  only  too 
much  promptness  and  zeal.  The  demonstrations 
of  joy  and  enthusiasm  in  favor  of  a  new  govern- 
ment which  he  reported  to  the  Emperor  had  been 
too  exclusively  confined  to  the  immediate  neigh- 
borhood of  his  headquarters,  and  the  Emperor 
of  France  could  not  but  anticipate  the  derision  of 
Europe  at  a  revolution  so  fundamental  accom- 
plished in  so  few  days  and  in  the  shadow  of  so 
few  bayonets.  The  junta,  nominated  by  a  French 
soldier,  had  appointed  an  executive  power  which,  in 
turn,  had  called  together  an  assembly  of  two  hundred 
notables,  who  had  with  absurd  unanimity  founded 
without  an  hour's  debate  a  new  government  and  a 
new  dynasty.  The  Emperor,  who  had  a  passion 
for  plebiscites,  felt  that  this  brusque  handiwork  of 
his  soldiers  needed  the  sanction  of  something  which 
should  at  least  appear  like  a  popular  vote,  and  he 
therefore  instructed  his  general  in  Mexico,  by  a 


dispatch  written  on  the  same  day  the  crown-bear-  chap.  xiv. 
ing  deputation  sailed  for  Europe,  that  he  accepted 
this  action  of  the  assembly  of  notables  merely  as  a 
"  symptom  of  favorable  augury" ;  he  regarded  their 
vote  as  having  no  validity  in  itself,  but  simply  as 
a  recommendation  to  the  real  voters.  "  It  is  now," 
he  said,  "the  part  of  the  provisional  government 
to  collect  these  suffrages  of  the  people  in  such  a 
manner  that  no  doubt  shall  hang  over  this  expres- 
sion of  the  will  of  the  people  of  the  country." 

The  deputation  arrived  at  the  castle  of  Miramar, 
near  Trieste,  on  the  3d  of  October,  and,  although  i863. 
every  semblance  of  authority  had  been  stripped 
from  them  by  the  Emperor's  dispatch,  they  still 
went  through  the  form  of  offering  to  the  Archduke 
their  visionary  empire.  Senor  Gutierrez  de  Estrada, 
in  a  speech  full  of  southern  eloquence  and  extrava- 
gance, represented  to  Prince  Maximilian  the  spon- 
taneous and  enthusiastic  character  of  the  call 
which  came  to  him  as  the  unanimous  choice  of  the 
people  of  Mexico,  and,  with  that  intimate  knowledge 
of  the  designs  of  Providence  always  assumed  by 
the  extremists  of  all  parties,  he  warned  him  that  in 
refusing  the  crown  of  Mexico  he  would  be  contra- 
vening the  will  of  Heaven,  which  had  endowed  him 
with  the  rarest  and  richest  qualities  for  the  express 
purpose  of  saving  and  regenerating  Mexico.  They 
then  presented  him,  inclosed  in  the  handle  of  a 
scepter  of  solid  gold,  the  parchment  upon  which 
was  engrossed  the  vote  of  the  notables. 

The  Prince, who  had  received  his  orders  from  Paris, 
could  not  accept  at  once  the  glittering  honors  thus 
offered  him.  He  declared  that  he  must,  in  com- 
plete accordance  with  the  views  of  the  Emperor 


chap.  xiv.  Napoleon,  insist  that  a  monarchy  could  not  be 
established  on  a  legitimate  and  firm  basis  without 
a  spontaneous  expression  of  the  wishes  of  the 
whole  nation.  He  must  also  ask  for  guarantees 
which  would  be  indispensable  to  secure  Mexico 
against  the  dangers  which  threatened  her  integrity 
and  independence.  Should  these  conditions  be  ful- 
filled, and  his  brother  the  Emperor  of  Austria 
approve,  he  would  then  be  ready  to  accept  the 
crown.  With  this  answer  the  delegation  was 
forced  to  be  content,  and  returned  to  try  to  carry 
into  effect  the  difficult  conditions  proposed  by  the 
Emperor  of  France. 

All  through  the  summer  and  autumn  General 
Forey,  and  after  him  General  Bazaine,  continued 
their  operations  against  the  scattered  and  still  strug- 
1863.  gling  armies  of  Mexico.  In  November  the  French 
forces  moved  towards  the  north;  General  Comonfort 
was  killed  by  banditti  and  General  Uraga  became 
general-in-chief.  The  Mexicans  were  not  strong 
enough  to  risk  at  any  time  a  general  engage- 
ment, but  endeavored  to  harass  and  impede 
as  far  as  possible  the  march  of  the  French.  But 
the  invaders  constantly  gained  ground ;  so  that  on 
the  1st  of  January,  1864,  they  occupied  most  of  the 
country  from  Mexico  to  San  Luis  Potosi  on  the 
north  and  Guadalajara  on  the  west,  and  on  the  east 
the  country  between  Vera  Cruz  and  the  capital  was 
entirely  in  their  hands.  It  was  not  a  large  portion 
of  the  territory  of  the  republic  counted  in  square 
miles,  but  it  was  of  great  importance,  comprising, 
as  it  did,  some  of  the  richest  and  most  populous 
States  and  cities  of  Mexico. 

The  course  of  events  in  Mexico  was  vigilantly 


watched  by  President  Lincoln  and  the  Secretary  of  chap.  xiv. 
State.  On  the  9th  of  August,  at  a  time  when  Gen- 
eral Grant,  flushed  with  his  triumph  at  Vicksburg, 
proposed  an  expedition  to  Mobile,  the  President 
in  a  confidential  letter  to  him  said :  "  This  would 
appear  tempting  to  me  also,  were  it  not  that  in 
view  of  recent  events  in  Mexico  I  am  greatly  im- 
pressed with  the  importance  of  reestablishing  the 
national  authority  in  Western  Texas  as  soon  as 
possible.  I  am  not  making  an  order,  however ; 
that  I  leave,  for  the  present  at  least,  to  the  general-  tooSSSt, 
in-chief."  Mr.  Lincoln  and  Mr.  Seward  observed  ugMs!863 
with  equal  care  the  progress  of  events  on  our  West- 
ern frontier  and  in  European  courts.  They  did 
not  consider  themselves  obliged,  either  by  the  tra- 
ditions of  American  policy  or  by  the  necessities  of 
the  case,  to  do  more  than  keep  steadily  before  the 
eyes  of  European  governments  the  adverse  opinion 
of  the  United  States  in  relation  to  the  French  in- 
vasion ;  but  they  did  not  fail  to  perform  this  duty 
with  the  utmost  candor  and  firmness.  In  a  long 
dispatch  of  the  26th  of  September,  Mr.  Seward  lm, 
gave  a  thorough  explanation  of  the  views  of  the 
President,  which  could  have  left  no  doubt  on  the 
mind  of  Napoleon  III.  as  to  what  he  might  ulti- 
mately expect  in  case  of  a  prolonged  war  or  a 
permanent  occupation  of  Mexico.  He  refers  to 
the  non-intervention  which  the  American  Gov- 
ernment has  practiced  in  every  phase  of  the  war, 
but  at  the  same  time  insists  upon  the  fact,  which, 
he  says,  is  known  full  well  to  the  American  Gov- 
ernment, "that  the  inherent  normal  opinion  of 
Mexico  favors  a  government  there  republican  in 
form  and  domestic  in  its  organization,  in  preference 
Vol.  VII.— 26 


chap.  xiv.  to  any  monarchical  institutions  to  be  imposed  from 
abroad."  He  speaks  of  the  interdependence  of  all 
1863.  the  American  republics  upon  each  other,  and  says 
that  the  safety  of  the  United  States  uand  the 
cheerful  destiny  to  which  they  aspire  are  inti- 
mately dependent  upon  the  continuance  of  free  re- 
publican institutions  throughout  America."  These 
opinions  were  worthy  of  the  serious  consideration  of 
the  Emperor  of  France  in  determining  how  he 
should  conduct  and  close  what  might  prove  a  suc- 
cessful war  in  Mexico.  If  France  should,  upon  due 
consideration,  determine  to  adopt  a  policy  in  Mexico 
adverse  to  the  American  opinions  and  sentiments 
referred  to,  that  policy  would  probably  scatter 
seeds  which  would  be  fruitful  of  jealousies  which 
might  ultimately  ripen  into  collision  between 
France  and  the  United  States  and  other  American 
republics.  He  mentions,  in  illustration  of  this, 
various  rumors,  already  current,  in  regard  to  the 
purposes  of  France  in  reference  to  Texas  and  the 
Mississippi  River,  and  to  coalitions  between  the  Re- 
gency established  in  Mexico  and  the  insurgent 
cabal  at  Richmond.  "The  President,"  said  Mr. 
Seward,  "apprehends  none  of  these  things.  He 
does  not  allow  himself  to  be  disturbed  by  suspicions 
so  unjust  to  France  and  so  unjustifiable  in  them- 
selves; but  he  knows,  also,  that  such  suspicions 
will  be  entertained  more  or  less  extensively  by  this 
country,  and  magnified  in  other  countries  equally 
unfriendly  to  France  and  to  America;  and  he 
knows  also  that  it  is  out  of  such  suspicions  that 
the  fatal  web  of  national  animosity  is  most  fre- 
quently woven."  He  assumes  that  the  Emperor's 
intentions  are  as  friendly  as  those  of  the  President, 


and  bases  upon  that  assumption  this  sincere  and  chap.  xiv. 
earnest  conversation.  He  closed  by  saying,  "  We 
ourselves,  however,  are  not  unobservant  of  the  pro- 
gress of  events  at  home  and  abroad ;  and  in  no  case 
are  we  likely  to  neglect  such  provision  for  our  own 
safety  as  every  sovereign  state  must  always  be  pre- 
pared to  fall  back  upon  when  nations  with  which  to  Dayton, 

•^  x  Sept.  26, 

they  have  lived  in  friendship  cease  to  respect  their       i863. 
moral  and  treaty  obligations." 

These  views  were  laid  before  the  French  Minis- 
ter for  Foreign  Affairs  by  Mr.  Dayton.  M.  Drouyn 
de  l'Huys  said  that  the  dangers  of  the  Government 
of  the  Archduke  would  come  principally  from  the 
United  States,  and  the  sooner  we  showed  ourselves 
satisfied,  and  manifested  a  willingness  to  enter  into 
peaceful  relations  with  that  Government,  the  sooner 
would  theirs  be  ready  to  leave  Mexico  and  the  new 
Government  to  take  care  of  itself,  which  France 
would,  in  any  event,  do  as  soon  as  it  could;  but 
that  it  would  not  lead  or  tempt  the  Archduke  into 
difficulty,  and  then  desert  him  before  his  Govern- 
ment was  settled;  a  promise  which,  within  a  few 
years,  was  to  figure  strangely  among  the  broken 
covenants  of  the  Second  Empire.  Mr.  Dayton 
intimated  to  him  in  reply  that  he  could  scarcely 
suppose  that  France,  under  the  circumstances, 
would  expect  the  United  States  to  make  haste  to 
acknowledge  a  new  monarchy  in  Mexico ;  but  he  Dayton 
promised  to  report  the  views  of  the  Minister  to  the  octf SrSra. 
Government  at  home. 

By  return  of  mail  Mr.  Seward  again  set  forth  the 
sentiments  of  the  President  in  a  dispatch  of  singular 
moderation  and  firmness.  He  referred  to  the  de- 
termination of  the  President  to  err  on  the  side  of 


chap.  xiv.  strict  neutrality,  if  he  erred  at  all,  in  the  war  that 
is  carried  on  between  two  nations  with  which  the 
United  States  are  maintaining  relations  of  amity 
and  friendship ;  and  also  to  the  intimation  of  M. 
Drouyn  de  l'Huys  that  an  early  acknowledgment 
of  the  proposed  empire  by  the  United  States  would 
assist  to  relieve  France  from  her  troublesome  com- 
plications ;  and  then  went  on  to  say,  "  the  French 
Government  has  not  been  left  uninformed  that,  in 
the  opinion  of  the  United  States,  the  permanent 
establishment  of  a  foreign  and  monarchical  govern- 
ment in  Mexico  will  be  found  neither  easy  nor  de- 
sirable." He  reiterated  the  purpose  of  the  United 
States  not  to  interfere  with  the  free  choice  of  the 
people  of  Mexico  in  the  establishment  or  enjoyment 
of  such  institutions  as  they  may  prefer,  but  said : 
"It  is  also  proper  that  M.  Drouyn  de  l'Huys  should  be 
informed  that  the  United  States  continue  to  regard 
Mexico  as  the  theater  of  a  war  which  has  not  yet 
ended  in  the  subversion  of  the  Government  long 
existing  there,  and  with  which  the  United  States 
remain  in  the  relation  of  peace  and  sincere  friend- 
ship ;  and  that  for  this  reason  the  United  States  are 
not  now  at  liberty  to  consider  the  question  of 

to  Dayton,  recognizing  a  government  which,  in  the  further 
1863. '     chances  of  war,  may  come  into  its  place." 

It  is  probable  that  no  one,  now  or  in  future,  will 
question  the  wisdom  or  the  equity  of  the  attitude 
assumed  and  consistently  maintained  by  the  Presi- 
dent and  the  Secretary  of  State  in  regard  to  the 
invasion  of  Mexico ;  but  in  the  midst  of  the  stormy 
passions  of  that  period  they  were  subjected  to  se- 
vere criticisms  and  attack  on  the  part  of  those 
who  insisted  that  the  moderation  with  which  they 


held  their  ground  in  all  their  discussions  with  the  chap.  xiv. 
French  Government  amounted  to  a  practical  aban- 
donment of  what  was  loosely  called  the  Monroe 
Doctrine.  It  was  the  opinion  of  many  that  the 
Government  was  recreant  to  its  duty  in  not  pro- 
testing against  any  European  aggression  upon  an 
American  republic,  and  opposing  such  aggression 
even  to  the  point  of  war.  This  was  carrying  the 
doctrine  of  President  Monroe  to  a  point  far  be- 
yond the  intentions  of  any  of  the  early  statesmen 
of  the  republic. 

The  text  of  the  famous  passage  in  President 
Monroe's  message  of  December  2,  1823,  which  is 
almost  a  repetition  of  the  words  employed  by  John 
Quincy  Adams  in  a  dispatch  to  Mr.  Eush,  the 
American  Minister  in  London,  and  in  a  conversa- 
tion with  the  Russian  Minister  in  Washington,  ls^.7' 
months  before,  is  as  follows:  "The  occasion  has 
been  judged  proper  for  asserting  as  a  principle  in 
which  the  rights  and  interests  of  the  United  States 
are  involved,  that  the  American  continents,  by  the 
free  and  independent  condition  which  they  have 
assumed  and  maintain,  are  henceforth  not  to  be 
considered  as  subjects  for  future  colonization  by 
any  European  powers."  And  further,  in  the  same 
message,  the  President  said :  "  We  owe  it,  therefore, 
to  candor  and  to  the  amicable  relations  existing 
between  the  United  States  and  these  powers,  to  de- 
clare that  we  should  consider  any  attempt  on  their 
part  to  extend  their  system  to  any  portion  of  this 
hemisphere  as  dangerous  to  our  peace  and  safety"; 
and  referring  to  the  American  governments  which 
had  declared  and  maintained  their  independence, 
he  added :  "  We  could  not  view  any  interposition 



Ohap.  XIV. 

George  F. 





p.  22. 

March  25, 


Dec.  26, 

for  the  purpose  of  oppressing  them,  or  controlling 
in  any  other  manner  their  destiny,  by  any 
European  power  in  any  other  light  than  as  the 
manifestation  of  an  unfriendly  disposition  towards 
the  United  States." 

Two  years  later,  when  Mr.  Adams,  the  true  au- 
thor of  the  Monroe  Doctrine, —  if  any  one  can  claim 
the  authorship  of  a  doctrine  universally  held  by 
Americans,  then  and  since, —  had  succeeded  Mr. 
Monroe  in  the  Presidency,  Henry  Clay,  his  Secretary 
of  State,  in  a  dispatch  to  the  American  Minister  in 
Mexico,  gave  the  idea  a  little  further  extension  by 
adding  to  the  text  given  above  a  second  clause  to 
the  effect  that  the  United  States,  while  they  did 
not  desire  to  interfere  in  Europe  with  the  political 
system  of  the  Holy  Alliance,  would  regard  as  danger- 
ous to  their  peace  and  safety  any  attempt  on  the  part 
of  the  allied  European  powers  to  extend  their  system 
to  any  part  of  America,  neither  continent  having 
the  right  to  enforce  upon  the  other  the  establish- 
ment of  its  peculiar  system.  At  the  close  of  the 
same  year  Mr.  Adams,  in  a  message  suggesting  the 
propriety  of  having  the  United  States  represented 
at  the  Congress  of  Panama,  said:  "An  agreement 
between  all  the  parties  represented  at  the  meeting, 
that  each  will  guard  by  its  own  means  against  the 
establishment  of  any  future  European  colony  within 
its  borders,  may  be  found  advisable.  This  was," 
he  adds,  "more  than  two  years  since,  announced 
by  my  predecessor  to  the  world,  as  a  principle  re- 
sulting from  the  emancipation  of  both  the  Ameri- 
can continents." 

It  was  therefore  in  accordance,  not  only  with  the 
dictates  of  a  wise  expediency,  but  also  in  harmony 


with  the  established  traditions  of  the  Government,  chap.  xiv. 
that  the  President  contented  himself  with  a  firm 
repetition  of  the  views  and  principles  held  by  the 
United  States  in  relation  to  foreign  invasion,  and 
abstained  from  protests  which  wonld  have  been 
futile  and  ridiculous.  In  his  message  of  December, 
1863,  at  the  opening  of  Congress,  he  entered  into  no 
discussion  of  the  subject.  This  occasioned  a  great 
disappointment  among  some  of  the  more  ardent 
spirits  in  Congress,  and  on  the  11th  of  January  Mr.  lse*. 
McDougall  of  California  introduced  into  the  Senate 
a  resolution  declaring  that  "the  occupation  of  a 
portion  of  the  territory  of  the  republic  of  Mexico 
by  the  armed  forces  of  the  Government  of  France 
is  an  act  unfriendly  to  the  republic  of  the  United 
States  of  America";  that  it  was  the  duty  of  the 
American  Government  to  demand  of  France  to 
withdraw  its  armed  force  from  the  Mexican  terri- 
tory within  a  reasonable  time,  and  that  failing  this, 
"  on  or  before  the  15th  day  of  March  next  it  will  be- 
come the  duty  of  the  Congress  of  the  United  States  Mcs^fr= 
of  America  to  declare  war  against  the  Government  "  ^fihl7 
of  France."  Just  one  year  before  this,  Mr.  Mc-  %?u9n' 
Dougall  had  introduced  a  set  of  resolutions  of  like 
purport,  which  had  been  laid  on  the  table  on  motion 
of  Senator  Sumner.  A  similar  fate  awaited  these 
belligerent  propositions.  They  were  referred  to 
the  Committee  on  Foreign  Eelations,  then,  as  be- 
fore, under  the  judicious  chairmanship  of  Mr. 
Sumner,  and  were  not  again  reported  to  the 

But  the  Committee  on  Foreign  Affairs  of  the 
House  of  Representatives  had  a  chairman  of  very 
different  temper  from  Mr.  Sumner,  Henry  Winter 


chap.  xiv.  Davis,  who  was  equally  distinguished  for  his  elo- 
quence and  his  ardor,  his  tenacity  of  opinion  and 
his  impatience  of  contradiction.  Under  his  ener- 
getic leadership  the  Committee  of  the  House  reported 
the  following  resolution,  which  was  passed  by  an 
affirmative  vote  of  109,  not  a  voice  being  raised 
against  it.  "Resolved,  That  the  Congress  of  the 
United  States  are  unwilling  by  silence  to  leave  the 
nations  of  the  world  under  the  impression  that  they 
are  indifferent  spectators  of  the  deplorable  events 
now  transpiring  in  the  republic  of  Mexico ;  and  that 
they  therefore  think  fit  to  declare  that  it  does  not  ac- 
cord with  the  policy  of  the  United  States  to  acknow- 
ledge any  monarchical  government,  erected  on  the 

"Giobe,"  ruins  of  any  republican  government  in  America, 
p.  1408.  '  under  the  auspices  of  any  European  power."  On 
arriving  at  the  Senate  this  resolution  was  referred 
to  the  Committee  on  Foreign  Eelations,  where,  in 
company  with  the  more  fiery  utterances  of  Mr. 
McDougall,  it  slept  unreported  until  the  close  of 
the  session. 

The  Minister  of  France  in  Washington  lost  no 
time  in  asking  for  an  explanation  of  this  vote,  and, 
on  the  7th  of  April,  Mr.  Seward,  in  a  dispatch  to 
Mr.  Dayton,  said,  "It  is  hardly  necessary,  after 
what  I  have  heretofore  written  with  perfect  candor 
for  the  information  of  France,  to  say  that  this  res- 
olution truly  interprets  the  unanimous  sentiment 
of  the  people  of  the  United  States  in  regard  to 
Mexico."  He  then  goes  on  to  say  that  the  question 
of  recognition  of  a  monarchy  in  Mexico  is  an  Ex- 
ecutive one ;  and  the  decision  of  it  constitutionally 
belongs,  not  to  the  House  of  Representatives,  nor 
even  to  Congress,  but  to  the   President  of  the 


United  States ;  that  the  joint  resolution  which  had  chap.xiv. 
passed  the  House,  before  it  could  receive  a  legisla- 
tive character,  must  pass  the  Senate  and  receive 
the  approval  of  the  President ;  that  while  the  Pres- 
ident received  the  declaration  of  the  House  of  Rep- 
resentatives with  the  profound  respect  to  which  it 
was  entitled,  he  directed  Mr.  Dayton  to  inform  the 
Government  of  France  that  he  did  not  at  present 
contemplate  any  departure  from  the  policy  which 
this  Government  had  hitherto  pursued  in  regard  to 
the  war  between  France  and  Mexico ;  "  that  the 
proceeding  of  the  House  of  Representatives  was 
adopted  upon  suggestions  arising  within  itself  and 
not  upon  any  communication  of  the  Executive  de- 
partment, and  that  the  French  Government  would 
be  seasonably  apprised  of  any  change  of  policy  upon 
this  subject  which  the  President  might  at  any  toseward, 
future  time  think  it  proper  to  adopt."  A?864.22' 

But  before  this  dispatch  reached  Paris,  Mr.  Day- 
ton, visiting  M.  Drouyn  de  PHuys,  was  greeted  by 
him  with  the  abrupt  inquiry,  "  Do  you  bring  us 
peace  or  war  ?  "  Mr.  Dayton,  not  having  received 
Mr.  Seward's  dispatch  on  the  subject,  was  unable 
to  answer,  except  in  general  terms  that  there 
was  nothing  in  the  resolutions  of  the  House  at 
variance  with  the  views  constantly  expressed  in  the 
official  dispatches  of  the  Secretary  of  State.  M. 
Drouyn  de  PHuys  evidently  regarded  the  proceed- 
ings as  entailing  serious  consequences;  and  Mr. 
Dayton  reported  that  it  was  the  occasion  of  great 
exultation  and  activity  among  the  secessionists  in 

When,  a  few  days  later,  Mr.  Dayton  received  May  2,1864 
Mr.  Seward's  dispatch  of  the  7th  of  April,  and  read 


chap.  xiv.  it  to  the  Minister  of  Foreign  Affairs,  he  was  able  to 
report  that  the  sensitiveness  manifested  by  the 
Government  on  the  receipt  of  the  news  of  the 
passage  of  the  resolution  had,  to  a  great  extent, 
subsided.  The  "Moniteur"  announced  that  the 
Emperor's  Government  had  received  satisfactory- 
explanations  as  to  the  sense  and  bearing  of  the  reso- 
lution ;  that  the  Senate  had  laid  it  on  the  table ; 
and  then  added  the  gratuitous  statement  that  in 
any  case  the  Executive  power  would  not  have  given 
its  sanction  to  it.  When  this  publication  arrived 
in  Washington  the  "  sensitiveness,"  which  had 
subsided  in  Paris,  woke  up  anew  in  the  House  of 
Eepresentatives.  On  motion  of  Mr.  Davis  the  House 
requested  the  President  to  communicate  any  expla- 
nation which  he  might  have  made  to  the  Govern- 
ment of  France,  in  reply  to  which  he  sent  the  entire 
correspondence,  of  which  we  have  given  an  abstract. 
The  matter  led  to  an  angry  debate  and  to  the  adop- 
tion of  a  report  from  the  Committee  on  Foreign 
Affairs,  written  by  Mr.  Davis,  in  which  he  vehe- 
mently criticized  the  action  of  the  President  and 
the  Secretary  of  State ;  but  he  did  not  succeed  in 
convincing  any  considerable  portion  of  the  public 
that  the  course  of  the  Government  had  been  any 
more  lacking  in  dignity  than  in  prudence. 

In  the  condition  of  affairs  which  prevailed 
throughout  Mexico,  no  plebiscitum  was  possible. 
In  most  of  the  States  of  the  republic  the  Indian 
population  had  never  heard  of  the  Archduke  Maxi- 
milian, and  everywhere  outside  of  the  French  lines 
his  adherents  were  found  only  in  monasteries  and 
sacristies ;  so  that,  after  a  year  of  waiting,  the 
Emperor  of  France  was  compelled  to  give  up  his 


favorite  expedient,  and  intimated  to  the  Archduke  chap.  xiv. 
that  they  must  be  content  with  whatever  sanction 
the  Regency  in  Mexico  could  contrive.  Senor  Guti- 
errez de  Estrada  therefore  appeared  once  more  at 
Miramar,  on  the  10th  of  April,  1864,  and,  with  the 
same  fluent  rhetoric  and  ready  emotion,  informed 
the  Archduke  that  he  had  been  called  to  the  throne 
by  the  practically  unanimous  voice  of  the  nota- 
bles, the  municipal  authorities,  and  the  great  cor- 

Prince  Maximilian,  who  had  employed  his  leisure 
in  the  study  of  Spanish,  replied  to  the  deputation 
in  that  language,  saying  that  the  signs  of  adhesion 
to  his  cause  in  Mexico  seemed  to  him  sufficiently 
unanimous ;  that  he  was  satisfied  with  the  guaran- 
tees of  independence  and  stability  already  secured ; 
that  the  Emperor  of  Austria  had  given  his  consent ; 
and  that,  relying  upon  the  friendship  and  good- will 
of  the  Emperor  of  the  French,  he  therefore  ac- 
cepted the  crown  at  the  hands  of  the  Mexican 
nation.  He  said,  "  She  has  placed  her  confidence 
in  a  descendant  of  that  House  of  Hapsburg  which, 
three  centuries  ago,  planted  a  Christian  monarchy 
upon  her  soil.  This  confidence  touches  me,  and  I  "c?c™ 
will  not  betray  it."  He  promised  to  retain  the  ab-  im,  p.  sia 
solute  authority  given  him  only  so  long  as  it  might 
be  necessary  to  introduce  settled  order  into  Mexico. 
He  would  start  at  once  for  his  new  country,  only 
pausing  on  his  way  to  visit  Rome  to  receive  from 
the  hands  of  the  Holy  Father  those  benedictions 
so  precious  to  all  sovereigns,  and  which  were 
doubly  important  to  him  as  called  upon  to  found 
a  new  empire.  The  Mexican  imperial  flag  was  at 
once  displayed  from  the  turrets  of  Miramar,  and 


chap.  xiv.  amid  the  roar  of  artillery  from  the  castle  and  the 
town,  the  deputation  knelt  and  did  homage  to  the 
new  Emperor.  On  the  same  day  a  convention  be- 
tween France  and  Mexico  was  signed  at  the  castle, 
by  which  the  new  Government  bound  itself  to  the 
payment  of  270,000,000  francs  for  the  expenses  of 
the  French  expedition,  12,000,000  more  to  satisfy 
the  claims  of  French  subjects  in  Mexico,  and  a 
further  annual  sum  of  25,000,000  in  specie.  Thus 
with  his  kingdom  in  pawn  to  his  powerful  pro- 
tector, bankrupt  in  advance,  loaded  down  with  a 
debt  which  he  could  not  reasonably  have  hoped 
ever  to  repay,  the  ill-starred  prince  embarked  upon 
his  brief  career  of  disaster,  which  was  to  be  closed 
by  an  early  and  cruel  death. 

While  the  Archduke  was  waiting  for  his  crown 
at  Miramar,  he  authorized  the  Confederate  envoys 
in  Europe  to  be  informed  of  his  strong  sympathy 
le^amin,  with  their  cause  and  his  wishes  for  friendly  rela- 
ys.'3 con-'  tions  with  the  Confederacy.  He  sent  a  message 
A?cwves.  to  Mr.  Slidell  that  he  considered  the  success  of  the 
South  identical  with  that  of  the  new  Mexican  em- 
pire, in  fact  so  inseparable  that  an  acknowledg- 
ment of  the  Confederate  States  of  America  by  the 
governments  of  England  and  France  ought  to  take 
place  before  his  acceptance  of  the  Mexican  crown 
became  unconditional.  Mr.  Slidell  was  naturally 
astonished  at  such  a  communication  coming  to  him 
unsought,  and  at  first  imagined  that  the  person, 
Mr.  De  Haviland,  who  brought  the  message,  might 
be  "  a  Yankee  emissary  " ;  but  on  making  his  sus- 
picions known  to  Gutierrez  de  Estrada  the  latter 
confirmed  Haviland's  assertions  as  to  his  relations 
to  the  Archduke,  and  said  that  he  himself  had  in- 



troduced  him ;  and  Slidell's  agent  in  the  Foreign  chap.  xiv. 
Office  afterwards  confirmed  what  had  been  said  of 
the  value  the  Archduke  attached  to  the  recogni- 
tion of  the  Confederacy.  He  said  he  had  seen  the 
paper  in  which  the  Archduke  set  forth  the  different 
measures  which  he  considered  essential  to  the  es- 
tablishment of  his  Government,  and  that  the  recog- 
nition of  the  Confederacy  headed  the  list. 

It  was,  therefore,  with  the  liveliest  anticipations 
that  Mr.  Slidell  awaited  the  visit  of  the  Archduke 
Maximilian  to  Paris  in  the  month  of  March;  but 
it  is  probable  that  the  Austrian  prince  had  received 
from  the  Tuileries  a  caution  against  any  commit- 
ment towards  the  Confederacy;  for,  although  he 
remained  in  Paris  a  week,  and  although  Mr.  Slidell 
sought  an  interview  with  him  immediately  on  his 
arrival,  the  prince  went  away  without  giving  an 
audience  to  the  Southern  commissioner.  This  was 
a  bitter  disappointment,  to  Mr.  Slidell,  and  he  tried 
to  console  himself  with  an  absurd  fable  which  he 
picked  up  at  some  salon  in  Paris,  that  Mercier  had 
informed  the  Archduke  that  he  had  been  authorized 
by  Lincoln  to  promise  recognition  to  his  Govern- 
ment by  that  of  Washington,  on  the  condition, 
however,  that  no  negotiations  should  be  entered 
into  with  the  Confederate  States.  "  The  Archduke," 
continues  Mr.  Slidell,  "is  weak  and  credulous 
enough  to  think  that  he  can  keep  on  good  terms 
with  the  Yankees,  while  he  can  at  any  time  in  case 
of  need  command  the  support  of  the  Confederacy." 
Mr.  Slidell  sent  to  the  Archduke,  through  one  of 
the  prominent  Mexicans  who  surrounded  him,  an 
intimation  that  he  was  making  a  great  mistake 
as  to  his  hopes  of  avoiding  difficulties  with  the 

Slidell  to 
March  16, 
1864.    MS. 



chap.  xiv.  North,  and  his  reliance  upon  the  South  to  aid  him 
in  meeting  them  should  they  occur ;  that  without 
the  active  friendship  of  the  South  he  would  be  en- 
tirely powerless  to  resist  Northern  aggression;  that 
the  motive  of  the  Confederates  in  desiring  to 
negotiate  with  Mexico  was  not  the  expectation  of 
deriving  any  advantage  from  an  alliance  per  se, 
but  from  the  consequences  that  would  probably 
flow  from  it  in  another  quarter. 

Mr.  Slidell  did  not  indulge  in  any  illusion  as  to 
the  Mexican  expedition  itself.  "  It  is  impossible," 
he  said,  "to  exaggerate  the  unpopularity  of  the 
Mexican  expedition  among  all  classes  and  parties 
in  France;  it  is  the  only  subject  upon  which  public 
opinion  seems  to  be  unanimous.  I  have  yet  to 
meet  the  first  man  who  approves  of  it,  and  several 
persons  very  near  the  Emperor  have  spoken  to  me 
of  it  in  decided  terms  of  condemnation.  The  Em- 
peror is  fully  aware  of  this  feeling,  and  is,  I 
believe,  very  desirous  to  get  rid  of  the  embarrass- 
ment as  soon  as  he  decently  can;  the  Archduke 
may  be  obliged  to  rely  on  his  own  resources  at  a 
much  earlier  day  than  he  expects.  In  this  opinion 
I  may  perhaps  do  the  Emperor  injustice,  but  I  can- 
not otherwise  account  for  the  evidently  increased 
ms.  con-  desire  to  avoid  giving  umbrage  to  the  Lincoln 
ixcSves.  Government."  Nothing  more  lucid  or  sagacious 
than  these  words  was  ever  sent  to  the  Confederate 
Government  at  Eichmond;  and  it  would  have  been 
well  for  the  Archduke  if  he  could  have  heard  and 
heeded  them. 
1864.  On  the  2d  of   May,  Mr.  Slidell  wrote  again  to 

Eichmond,  repeating  his  story  that  Mercier  pre- 
tended to  be  the  bearer  of  assurances  from  Lincoln 


to  Maximilian  that  the  empire  would  be  recognized  chap.  xiv. 
by  the  United  States ; x  and  he  reports  also  that  he 
hears    "from  well-informed  quarters  that  Maxi- 
milian,  on    his   arrival  in  Mexico,   will    address 
a  circular  letter  to  the  various  governments  with 
which  he  wishes  to  establish  relations,   that  of 
Washington  included,  and  ignoring  the  Confed- 
eracy.     I  have  taken  care,"  he  says,   "to  advise 
leading  Mexicans  that   such  a  course  could  not 
but  be  offensive  to  my  Grovernment,  and  might   l^amm*, 
lead    to    results    which  would   hereafter   be    re-    ms.  con- 
gretted."    He  took  particular  care  to  impress  upon    Arcmves. 
the  mind  of  one  of  Maximilian's  officers,  who  was 
to  sail  with  him  in  the  Novara,  the  necessity  of  the 
support  of  the  Confederacy  to  protect  the  new 
Grovernment  against  the  aggressions  of  the  North. 
But  when  the  imperial  party  sailed  from  Civita 
Vecchia  there  was  little  left  of  the  high  hopes  with 
which  the  Rebel  Commissioners  had  anticipated 
that  event. 

Maximilian  arrived  in  the  City  of  Mexico  on  the 
12th  of  July,  and  made  his  triumphant  entry  into 
the  capital  with  all  the  splendor  of  ceremonial 
which  was  within  the  reach  of  the  French  army 
and  the  Mexican  Church.  But  the  enthusiasm  of 
the  occasion  was  confined  exclusively  to  the  foreign 
soldiers  and  the  native  priests.  The  people  looked 
coldly  on,  enjoying  the  unwonted  and  brilliant 
show  but  exhibiting  no  hearty  welcome  to  their  new 

1  Mr.  Jefferson  Davis  on  read-  on  the  avowal  of  purpose  made, 

ing  this  dispatch  made  the  follow-  should   be    conclusive    even    to 

ing  note  in  pencil :  "  Lord  Lyons  minds  as  oblique   as  those  who 

and  Count  Mereier  are  fulfilling  [sie]  have  so  misrepresented  and 

my  expectations.     The  action  of  defrauded  us." — MS.  Confederate 

the  convention  which  nominated  Archives,   in  possession  of    the 

Mr.  Lincoln  and  his  acceptance  authors. 


chap.  xiv.  sovereign.  His  first  acts  exhibited  at  once  his 
goodness  of  heart,  his  purity  of  intentions,  and  his 
utter  incapacity  to  understand  or  control  the  tur- 
bulent elements  with  which  he  was  called  upon  to 
deal.  He  invited  Juarez  and  his  leading  adherents 
to  hold  a  conference  with  him  in  the  City  of  Mexico, 
and  offered  them  the  most  tempting  positions  in 
his  gift  as  a  price  of  their  adhesion  to  the  empire. 
He  received  in  return  a  letter  from  the  Mexican 
President,  couched  in  dignified  and  moderate  lan- 
guage, but  filled  with  an  unflinching  spirit  of 
hostility  and  defiance,  both  to  Maximilian  and  to 
Napoleon  III.,  whom  he  considered  his  principal, 
which  when  published  did  much  to  encourage  the 
adherents  of  the  national  cause. 

The  Archduke  then  established  several  commis- 
sions to  organize  the  administration.  They  did 
their  work  in  a  feeble  and  vacillating  way,  and, 
shortly  after  his  arrival,  Maximilian  found  himself 
in  an  attitude  of  hostility  to  the  Church  party,  at 
whose  invitation  he  had  come  to  Mexico.  Even 
before  his  arrival  there  had  been  a  breach  of 
friendly  relations  between  the  Church  and  the 
French  authorities.  The  clerical  party  expected, 
as  a  matter  of  course,  that,  upon  the  arrival  of  the 
French  in  the  capital,  their  church  property  would 
be  restored  to  them;  but  General  Bazaine  found 
this  course  impossible,  not  only  on  account  of  the 
exigencies  of  the  public  treasury,  but  also  because 
many  French  citizens,  the  holders  of  ecclesiastical 
property,  would  have  been  ruined  by  its  restitution. 
He  therefore  allowed  proceedings  in  the  courts  in 
relation  to  such  property  to  take  their  regular 
course,  and  when  the  Archbishop  of  Mexico  pro- 


tested  against  this  action,  his  two  colleagues  in  the  chap.  xiv. 
triumvirate,  Almonte  and  Salas,  at  the  suggestion 
of  the  French  commander,  dismissed  him  from  the 
Regency.  He  protested  loudly  against  this  action, 
and,  in  company  with  the  great  ecclesiastical  digni- 
taries of  the  country,  issued  a  manifesto  denouncing 
the  acts  of  the  French  military  authority,  and  of  the 
Eegency  under  it,  as  no  less  tyrannical  and  unjust 
to  the  Church  than  the  proceedings  of  the  Juarez 
Government,  which  had  driven  the  Church  party  to 
seek  for  foreign  intervention. 

The  Archduke  found  himself  confronted  upon  his 
arrival  by  this  ominous  state  of  things  ;  and  ham- 
pered by  his  dependence  upon  the  Emperor  Na- 
poleon, he  was  unable  to  take  sides  with  the  Church 
party,  to  whom  alone  he  could  look  for  sincere  and 
loyal  support  in  Mexico.  Even  the  Pope,  upon 
whose  benediction  and  fatherly  sanction  he  had 
built  such  hope  for  the  stability  of  his  empire, 
turned  against  him,  and  in  a  letter  of  the  18th  of 
October,  most  affectionate  in  form,  but  severe  in 
substance,  informed  him  of  the  sorrow  which  his 
apparent  recreancy  to  the  Church  had  occasioned  at 
Eome,  and  of  the  hard  conditions  upon  which  alone 
he  might  expect  the  support  and  commendation  of 
the  Papacy.  "  The  Catholic  religion  must,  above  all 
things,  continue  to  be  the  glory  and  the  mainstay 
of  the  Mexican  nation  to  the  exclusion  of  every 
other  dissenting  worship  ;  the  bishops  must  be  per- 
fectly free  in  the  exercise  of  their  pastoral  ministry ; 
the  religious  orders  should  be  reestablished  or 
reorganized  conformably  with  the  instructions  and 
the  powers  which  we  have  given ;  the  patrimony  of 
the  church  and  the  rights  which  attach  to  it  must 
Vol.  VII.— 27 


chap.  xiv.  be  maintained  and  protected  ;  no  person  may  obtain 
the  faculty  of  teaching  and  publishing  false  and 
subversive  tenets;  instruction,  whether  public  or 
private,  must  be  directed  and  watched  over  by  the 
ecclesiastical  authority;  and,  in  short,  the  chains 
must  be  broken  which  up  to  the  present  time  have 
"cycioal  held  the  church  in  a  state  of  dependence  and  sub- 
let? pa'526.  ject  to  the  arbitrary  rule  of  the  civil  government." 
These  conditions  were  impossible  of  fulfilment. 
Maximilian  could  not  restore  the  vast  possessions 
of  the  Church.  He  could  not  establish  or  maintain 
an  absolute  censorship  of  the  press  and  of  public 
and  private  instruction;  and  thus  every  day 
widened  the  breach  between  himself  and  the 
Church  party.  It  was  equally  impossible  for  him 
to  meet  the  financial  exigencies  of  the  situation. 
It  had  appeared  to  him  at  Miramar  that  with 
$18,000,000,  his  estimated  income,  including  all 
that  was  left  to  him  from  the  proceeds  of  his  first 
loan,  he  might  satisfy  the  most  pressing  wants  of 
his  administration ;  with  $4,000,000  for  the  public 
debt,  $4,000,000  for  the  Mexican  army,  $5,000,000 
for  the  French  army,  and  with  $5,000,000  more  for 
public  works  and  the  government  of  the  interior, 
he  could  get  along  for  the  time  being.  But  he 
soon  found  it  necessary  to  rearrange  his  budget. 
Instead  of  the  $18,000,000  of  expenses  for  which  he 
had  provided  he  was  confronted  by  an  estimate 
twice  as  large :  $6,000,000  were  needed  for  the  debt, 
$14,000,000  for  the  army,  $10,000,000  and  more  for 
the  public  works  and  the  government  of  the  in- 
terior. He  was  driven  to  seek  another  loan  in 
Europe,  which  was  issued  at  a  ruinous  rate,  compli- 
cated with  the  system  of  lotteries  which  produced 


but  little  money  for  the  bankrupt  empire  of  Mexico  chap.  xiv. 
and  seriously  discredited  the  tottering  empire  of  sp(r£jj°f 
France.  Ju*y  9» 186^ 

It  was  only  in  the  military  department  of  his 
government  that  something  like  order  prevailed. 
The  disciplined  army  of  Bazaine  met  with  but  little 
resistance  wherever  it  marched  except  from  the 
diseases  incident  to  the  unaccustomed  climate  and 
the  harassment  of  irregular  bands  of  guerrillas. 
Many  of  the  leading  generals  of  the  republic  be- 
trayed their  trust.  Vidaurri  deserted  from  Monte- 
rey; Uraga,  general-in-chief  of  the  army,  went 
over  to  Maximilian:  the  Government  of  Juarez 
fled  from  place  to  place,  until  at  last  he  sought 
refuge  in  the  State  of  Chihuahua  with  an  army 
reduced  to  a  mere  body-guard  of  two  thousand 
men,  still  opposing  an  indomitable  front  to  the 
invader  and  refusing  to  listen  either  to  the  temp- 
tations held  out  by  Maximilian  or  to  the  per- 
suasions of  faint-hearted  friends  who  urged  him 
to  put  an  end  to  his  own  troubles  and  the  dis- 
traction of  the  country  by  submission  to  the 

So  long  as  the  new  empire  was  supported  by  the 
arms  and  by  the  prestige  of  France  it  presented  to 
the  world  a  certain  appearance  of  strength.  The 
President  of  the  republic  and  the  Cabinet  kept  up 
a  show  of  resistance  in  a  remote  frontier  State;  and 
the  southern  portion  of  the  republic,  where  Alva- 
rez held  Gruerrero  and  the  adjoining  States  with  his 
faithful  army  of  Pinto  Indians,  was  never  overrun 
by  the  invader.  But  the  court  of  Maximilian  in 
Mexico  appeared  as  strong  as  any  of  the  govern- 
ments with  which  foreigners  had  had  to  deal  for 


chap.  xiv.  many  years,  and  one  by  one  the  European  powers 
recognized  the  new  empire  and  entered  into  diplo- 
matic relations  with  it.  The  United  States  retained 
its  attitude  of  reserve  towards  the  imperial  court 
and  of  outspoken  friendship  towards  the  harassed 
republican  government.  Mr.  Seward  lost  no  op- 
portunity of  making  known  to  the  diplomatic 
body  in  Washington,  and  through  our  minister  in 
Paris  to  the  Emperor  himself,  that  the  Government 
of  the  United  States  regarded  the  empire  as  a  tem- 
porary and  exotic  government  in  Mexico,  and  con- 
stantly reiterated  his  firm  and  friendly  warning  to 
France  to  bring  its  invasion  of  Mexico  to  a  close  at 
the  earliest  possible  day. 

At  the  end  of  1864  and  the  beginning  of  the  fol- 
lowing year  a  rumor  reached  the  United  States 
that  ex-Senator  Wm.  M.  Gwin,  foreseeing  the  failure 
of  the  rebellion,  was  preparing  an  extensive  scheme 
of  emigration  to  Mexico,  which  was  to  serve  as  a 
refuge  for  the  defeated  Confederates  and  doubtless 
also  as  a  point  of  departure  for  future  schemes  of 
hostility  against  the  Government  of  the  United 
States.  There  seems  to  have  been  some  founda- 
tion for  this  rumor,  although  the  details  of  the 
scheme  were  contradicted  by  the  imperial  govern- 
ments of  Mexico  and  France;  and  after  the  war 
closed  several  irreconcilable  Southern  generals  and 
politicians,  among  them  Price,  Magruder,  and 
Harris,  sought  the  protection  of  Maximilian, 
and  tried  to  carry  out  a  scheme  similar  to  that 
attributed  to  Gwin.  The  great  mass  of  the  South- 
ern people  being  tired  of  wars  and  wanderings, 
this  seductive  scheme  of  colonization  came  to 


When  the  Republican  National  Convention  of  chap.  xiv. 
1864,  which  renominated  Lincoln,  met  in  Balti- 
more, a  resolution  was  adopted,  with  long-continued 
applause,  approving  the  position  taken  by  the 
Government  "  that  the  people  of  the  United  States 
can  never  regard  with  indifference  the  attempt  of 
any  European  power  to  overthrow  by  force  or  to 
supplant  by  fraud  the  institutions  of  any  republican 
government  on  the  Western  Continent,  and  that 
they  will  view  with  extreme  jealousy,  as  menacing  to 
the  peace  and  independence  of  their  own  country, 
the  efforts  of  any  such  power  to  obtain  new  footholds 
for  monarchical  governments,  sustained  by  foreign 
military  force  in  near  proximity  to  the  United  ENaSonain 
States."  This  was  a  wider  and  more  energetic  ex-  June,  ism. 
tension  of  the  Monroe  Doctrine  than  had  ever  be- 
fore been  put  forward  in  so  authoritative  a  form  by 
any  body  representing  the  majority  of  the  people 
of  the  United  States.  It  was  adopted  by  Mr.  Lincoln 
in  his  letter  accepting  the  nomination  to  the  Presi- 
dency, though  with  his  usual  candor  and  caution  he 
added  that  "  the  position  of  the  Government  in  rela- 
tion to  the  action  of  France  in  Mexico,  as  assumed 
through  the  State  Department  and  approved  and  in- 
dorsed by  the  Convention  among  the  measures  and 
acts  of  the  executive,  will  be  faithfully  maintained 
so  long  as  the  state  of  facts  shall  leave  that  position  Committee, 
pertinent  and  applicable."  But  neither  then  nor  at  i86*?eMs. 
any  other  time  was  the  Government  of  France  left  in 
ignorance  of  the  fact  that  the  presence  of  their  troops 
in  Mexico  was  most  unwelcome  to  the  people  of  the 
United  States,  and  that  their  continuance  there 
was  likely  at  any  moment  to  result  in  disastrous 


chap.  xiv.  During  the  next  winter  there  were  two  resolutions 
introduced  in  the  Confederate  Congress  at  Kichmond 
which,  although  they  were  not  adopted,  showed 
that  a  small  minority  at  least  of  the  rebel  Congress- 
men were  opposed  to  the  intervention  of  foreign 
powers  in  Mexico,  and  imagined  that  there  might 
be  a  possibility  of  rapprochement  between  the 
Confederate  Government  and  that  of  the  Union  on 
a  basis  of  united  action  against  the  French  inva- 
sion. John  P.  Murray  of  Tennessee,  on  the  7th  of 
November,  brought  in  a  resolution  to  the  effect 
that  "we  have  no  sympathy  with  the  efforts  to 
PhOTson,  establish  a  monarchy  in  Mexico,  and  that  we  will 
"  ofufe7  not,  directly  or  indirectly,  aid  in  the  establishment 
Rep.e6i7.n'"  of  a  monarchy  on  the  continent  of  America  " ;  and 
in  the  following  January  D.  C.  De  Jarnette  of  Vir- 
ginia introduced  resolutions  with  a  preamble  setting 
forth  that  there  were  reasons  to  believe  that  ulte- 
rior designs  were  entertained  by  the  imperial  gov- 
ernments of  Mexico  and  France  against  California 
and  the  Pacific  States,  which  "  we  do  not  regard  as 
parties  to  the  war  now  waged  against  us,  as  they 
have  furnished  neither  men  nor  money  for  its 
prosecution";  and  resolving  "that  the  time  may 
not  be  distant  when  we  will  be  prepared  to  unite 
on  the  basis  of  the  independence  of  the  Confederate 
States  with  those  most  interested  in  the  vindica- 
tion of  the  principles  of  the  Monroe  Doctrine  for 
their  mediation,  to  the  exclusion  of  all  seeming 
violations  of  those  principles  on  the  continent  of 
p.  6is!  North  America."  Mr.  De  Jarnette,  with  foolish 
frankness,  allowed  his  impression  to  appear,  first, 
that  the  Pacific  States  might  be  detached  from  the 
Union  for  the  purpose  of  attacking  the  empire  in 


Mexico  in  concert  with  the  South;  and,  secondly,  chap.xiv. 
that  England  and  France  would  be  so  frightened 
by  the  policy  indicated  in  his  resolutions  that  they 
would  give  to  the  Confederacy  "  all  it  wanted,  and 
more  than  it  had  hoped  for." 

So  long  as  Mr.  Lincoln  lived  the  Government  of 
the  United  States  continued  its  attitude  of  firm 
disapproval  of  French  invasion;  and  after  his 
death,  when  the  fall  of  the  rebellion  had  set  free 
the  armies  of  the  Union,  and  had  made  the  con- 
tinued existence  of  Maximilian's  empire  in  Mexico 
impossible,  Mr.  Seward,  at  the  head  of  the  State  De- 
partment, still  carried  on  with  the  same  unswerving 
skill,  dignity,  and  forbearance  the  policy  inaugurated 
in  the  lifetime  of  Mr.  Lincoln,  until  the  Emperor  of 
France,  recognizing  at  last  the  failure  of  his  scheme 
of  a  Latin  empire  in  America,  withdrew  the  troops 
which  alone  had  sustained  during  those  three 
years  the  power  of  Maximilian,  at  the  cost  of  many 
thousands  of  lives  and  $200,000,000 ;  and  the  un- 
fortunate Archduke,  with  a  courage  and  self-devo- 
tion worthy  of  a  better  fate,  offered  up  his  life  amid 
the  ruins  of  his  short-lived  empire.  After  the  de- 
parture of  the  French  troops  he  retired  to  Quere- 
taro,  where  he  was  immediately  besieged  by  the 
Eepublican  army.  In  the  middle  of  May  the  place 
was  taken,  and  a  month  later  Maximilian  and 
his  two  generals,  Miramon  and  Mejia,  were  shot,  in 
accordance  with  the  sentence  of  a  court  martial.  i867.  ' 



chap.  xv.  T  I  ^HE  fact  that  the  rebellion  had  its  first  violent 
JL  outbreak  at  Fort  Sumter  indicated  that  place 
as  among  the  first  objects  of  attack  by  the  national 
arms;  but,  as  we  have  seen,  two  years  elapsed 
before  any  serious  attempt  was  made  to  retake  the 
fort,  and,  when  made,  in  April,  1863,  it  resulted  in 
failure.  After  Du  Pont's  attack  the  Confederates 
enjoyed  two  months  of  undisturbed  leisure  for  the 
construction  and  strengthening  of  their  works, 
though  all  this  time  the  matter  of  a  new  essay  at 
the  reduction  of  Sumter  occupied  more  than  its 
proper  share  of  the  attention  of  the  Government. 
The  forces  in  the  Department  of  the  South  were 
not  sufficient  to  undertake  a  siege  of  Charleston  by 
land,  and  the  exigencies  of  the  more  important 
campaigns  going  forward  in  Virginia,  Tennessee, 
and  Mississippi  prevented  their  being  reenforced. 
It  was  resolved,  therefore,  to  restrict  operations  to 
the  harbor  and  the  islands  immediately  adjoining, 
and  Admiral  John  A.  Dahlgren — after  the  death  of 
Admiral  Foote,  who  had  been  designated  for  the 
purpose — and  General  Q.  A.  Gillmore  were  charged 
with  the  command  of  the  military  and  naval  forces 
engaged.     The  one  was  the  most  eminent  officer  of 


FORT    WAGNER  425 

ordnance  in  the  service,  and  the  other,  though  chap.xv 
young,  was  already  not  only  a  famous  engineer,  but 
also  distinguished  for  his  intelligence  and  enter- 
prise in  the  command  of  troops.  The  President  was 
sure  of  the  zeal  and  devotion  of  both,  and  of  their 
cordial  disposition  to  work  together  harmoniously 
for  the  best  results. 

They  indulged  in  no  illusions  as  to  the  probable 
extent  of  their  success  in  the  undertaking  before 
them.  General  Gillmore  gave  his  opinion  in  ad- 
vance that  Fort  Sumter  could  be  reached  and 
reduced,  or  its  offensive  power  entirely  destroyed, 
by  the  land  and  naval  forces  then  serving  in  the 
Department  of  the  South,  provided  there  was 
hearty  and  energetic  cooperation  between  them, 
and  the  naval  officer  in  command  was  one  who  had 
confidence  in  the  monitors;  but  that,  with  the 
small  force  available,  about  eleven  thousand  men, 
the  army  could  not  initiate  any  movement  of  im- 
portance inland,  which  would  involve  their  leaving 
their  advantageous  position  on  the  Sea  Islands, 
flanked  by  marshes  on  one  side  and  the  navy  on 
the  other.  Admiral  Dahlgren  had  similar  views. 
He  was  ready  to  cooperate  at  all  times  with  the 
army  in  any  measures  deemed  advisable,  but  never 
regarded  it  as  possible  that  the  navy  alone  could 
reduce  the  circle  of  forts  around  the  harbor,  and 
take  permanent  possession  of  Charleston.  He 
assumed  command  on  the  6th  of  July.  Gillmore  i«53. 
had  already  been  on  the  ground  some  three  weeks, 
and  had  nearly  completed  his  preparations  for  a 
descent  upon  Morris  Island,  when  Dahlgren  arrived. 
The  admiral,  without  a  moment's  delay,  entered 
into  the  plans  of  the  general,  and  within  forty- 



Chap.  XV. 



W.  R.    Vol. 

Part  I., 
pp.  4,  5. 

eight  hours  collected  his  scattered  monitors,  and 
steamed  away  to  the  harbor  of  Charleston. 

Morris  Island  is  a  low  strip  of  sandy  beach, 
which  lies  to  the  south  of  Charleston  and,  with 
Sullivan's  Island  to  the  north,  guards  the  entrance 
to  the  harbor,  the  two  stretching  out  to  sea  like 
the  open  jaws  of  an  alligator.  They  are  each 
about  three  and  a  half  miles  long,  separated  from 
the  mainland  on  the  north,  and  from  the  high 
ground  of  James  Island  on  the  south,  by  miry  and 
impracticable  marshes  stretching  a  distance  of  two 
or  three  miles.  Their  inner  ends  are  a  little  less 
than  four  miles  from  the  Charleston  wharves,  with 
Fort  Sumter  lying  midway.  Gillmore  resolved  to 
make  his  attack  from  Folly  Island,  which  lies  on 
the  coast  directly  south  of  Morris,  which  it  greatly 
resembles  in  conformation,  and  from  which  it  is 
separated  by  Light  House  Inlet.  It  was  occupied 
by  a  brigade  under  General  Israel  Vogdes,  who  had 
fortified  the  southern  end  of  it,  controlling  the 
waters  of  Stono  harbor  and  the  approaches  of  James 
Island.  There  was  a  heavy  growth  of  underbrush 
at  both  ends  of  the  island ;  taking  advantage  of  this, 
Yogdes,  under  Gillmore's  direction,  constructed  ten 
powerful  batteries  near  its  northern  extremity, 
completely  masked  from  the  enemy's  view;  their 
purpose  being  to  operate  against  the  enemy's  guns 
near  the  landing  place,  to  protect  the  debarkation 
of  the  troops,  and  to  cover  their  retreat  in  case  of 
necessity.  Most  of  this  work  was  done  at  night, 
and  all  of  it  as  silently  as  possible  ;  during  the  last 
days  the  rebels  were  busily  engaged  in  wrecking 
a  stranded  blockade -runner  within  pistol-shot  of 
these  batteries,  and  never  discovered  them. 

FOKT    WAGNEE  427 

Alfred  H.  Terry's  division  of  4000  and  George  C.  chap.  xv. 
Strong's  brigade  of  2500  were  quietly  brought 
together  on  Folly  Island,  and  on  the  afternoon  of  the 
8th  of  July  the  former  force  was  sent  up  the  Stono  to  1863. 
make  a  demonstration  against  James  Island,  while 
Strong's  brigade  was  ordered  to  descend  upon 
Morris  Island  at  daybreak  of  the  9th.  Colonel  T.  W. 
Higginson  of  the  First  South  Carolina  Volunteers, 
colored,  was  ordered  at  the  same  time  to  cut  the  Gmmore, 
railroad  between  Charleston  and  Savannah;  a  duty  wRr°voi. 
in  which  Genera!  Gillmore  says  he  "signally  failed."  parti.,p.*8. 
The  others  punctually  performed  the  tasks  assigned 
them.  Terry's  feint  against  Stono  was  so  imposing 
as  to  be  taken  for  the  real  attack,  by  Beauregard, 
who  hastily  gathered  together  a  considerable  force 
to  resist  him,  and  paid  little  attention  to  the  serious 
movement  on  the  beach.  There  were  still,  how- 
ever, enough  men  left  on  Morris,  all  in  fact  who 
could  be  handled  to  advantage;  but  they  were 
taken  by  surprise.  Attacked  in  front  by  Strong's 
brigade  who  crossed  the  Inlet  at  daybreak,  and  on 
their  left  flank  by  Dahlgren,  who  swept  the  narrow 
island  with  his  guns,  they  were  speedily  driven  out 
of  all  their  batteries  south  of  Wagner,  and  aban- 
doned to  Gillmore  three-fourths  of  the  island  with 
eleven  pieces  of  heavy  ordnance.  The  next  day 
he  ordered  Strong's  brigade  to  assault  Fort  Wagner; 
an  attempt  which  failed,  with  slight  loss  on  each 
side.  On  the  16th  Terry  was  attacked  by  a  superior 
force  on  James  Island,  and  although  he  repulsed 
the  enemy  with  the  assistance  of  the  gunboats 
which  accompanied  him,  he  was  recalled  to  Folly 
Island,  the  purpose  of  his  demonstration  having 
been  accomplished. 


chap.  xv.       Although  General  Gillmore  had  as  yet  no  ade- 
quate conception  of  the  enormous  strength  of  Fort 
"Wagner,  the  assault  and  repulse  of  the  11th  of 
1863.       July  convinced  him  that  it  could  not  be  carried 
offhand.     He  therefore  determined,  on  consultation 
with  Admiral  Dahlgren,  to  establish  counter-bat- 
teries against  it,  hoping  with  the  combined  fire  of 
GRepo°rte'    these  and  the  gunboats  to  dismount  the  guns  of 
xxvin0,'  the  work  and  so  shake  its  defense  as  to  carry  it  by 

Part  I. 

p-i3."  a  determined  assault.  The  preparations  were  made 
with  great  energy,  and  by  the  morning  of  the  18th, 
exactly  one  week  after  the  first  assault,  General 
Gillmore  was  ready  for  the  second.  It  was  an  ill- 
advised  and  unfortunate  enterprise,  doomed  to  dis- 
aster from  the  nature  of  the  case.  With  all  his 
skill  and  coolness,  and  his  profound  knowledge  of 
engineering,  Gillmore  was  still  young  and  daring, 
and  naturally  inclined  to  think  less  than  they  de- 
served of  obstacles  in  front  of  him.  He  admits  in 
his  report  that  he  was  not  aware  of  the  tremendous 
strength  of  the  sand- work  he  was  attacking;  his 
information  in  regard  to  it  was  contradictory  and 

ibid.  meager.  Its  formidable  armament,  its  full  and  dis- 
ciplined garrison,  its  capacious  bomb-proof,  which 
could  shelter  the  entire  force  in  complete  safety, 
were  as  yet  unknown.  Worse  than  all  this,  the 
maps  of  the  Coast  Survey,  upon  which  our  army 
and  navy  relied  implicitly,  had  been  rendered  ob- 
solete as  to  Morris  Island  by  the  stealthy  encroach- 
ments of  the  sea,  which  had  almost  gnawed  the 
sand-spit  in  two  at  the  point  just  south  of  the  fort, 
leaving  only  about  a  hundred  feet  of  dry  land  in- 
stead of  the  three  hundred  indicated  by  the  maps ; 
and  even  this  narrow  causeway  was  subject  to  the 

FORT    WAGNER  429 

washing  of  the  waves  in  spring  tide  and  heavy  chap.xv. 
weather.     Along  this  path  of  death  an  attacking  w^RyTVoi. 
force  mnst  march,  exposed  to  the  fire  of  a  fort     F^\^'f 
stretching  all  the  way  across  the  island  from  the 
sea-shore  to  Vincent's  Creek,  presenting  a  front  of 
three  times  the  development  which  conld  be  given 
to  the  head  of  a  column  of  approach,  the  terrible 
ratio  reaching  as  high  as  ten  to  one  as  the  sandy 
isthmus  narrowed  under  the  walls  of  Wagner. 

The  batteries  opened  fire  upon  Fort  Wagner 
from  land  and  sea  about  noon,  and  in  a  short  time  Juiyi8,i868. 
its  defenders  were  driven  from  the  parapets  to  the 
bomb-proofs,  the  fire  of  its  guns  appearing  to  be 
completely  silenced.     "  The  flag-monitor  lay  only 
three  hundred  yards  from  the    sea-face    of    the 
work,"  says  Dahlgren ;  "  not  a  gun  was  fired  from 
it ;  not  a  head  was  visible  to  my  glass,  as  I  stood  c^Sittee 
with  other  officers  outside  watching  for  the  first  It  thenwar! 
symptom  of  renewed  resistance."      Cart-loads  of       we*.  ' 
sand  were  hurled  into  the  air  by  every  broadside ; 
in  the  course  of  the  afternoon  the  whole  work 
seemed  to  be  beaten  out  of  shape.      Late  in  the 
afternoon  Gillmore  formed  his  storming  party,  to 
move  at  twilight ;  this  time  was  chosen  that  the 
column  might  not  be  distinctly  seen  by  the  enemy's 
batteries  on  the  opposite  islands.    General  Strong's 
brigade  took  the  lead,  followed  by  Colonel  H.  S. 
Putnam's ;  in  advance  was  the  Fifty-fourth  Massa-    „.,, 

7  J  Gillmore, 

chusetts,  colored,  led  by  Colonel  Robert  G.  Shaw,   „^gg*^. 
one  of  the  bravest  and  gentlest  soldiers  whom  the    At8ueiy 
North  had  sent  to  the  war.      "  As  the  head  of  the  0Snstns 
column  debouched,"  says  General  Gillmore,  " from   ton,»p! 5L 
the    first   parallel,   the   guns  in  Wagner,   Gregg, 
and  Sumter,  and  also  those  on  James  and  Sullivan's 


chap.  xv.  Islands,  opened  upon  it  rapidly  and  simultaneously, 
and  when  it  approached  so  near  the  work  that  the 
fire  from  the  navy  and  from  our  own  mortars, 
and  the  gun  batteries  on  our  extreme  left  had  to 
be  suspended  for  fear  of  hitting  our  own  men,  then 
a  compact  and  most  destructive  musketry  fire  was 
instantly  poured  upon  the  advancing  column  from 
the  parapet  by  the  garrison  of  the  work,  which  up 
to  that  moment  had  remained  within  the  safe 
protection  of  the  bomb-proof  shelter,  and  now 
emerged  therefrom  to  meet  the  exigencies  of  the 

From  a  front  ten  times  as  large  as  the  head  of 
the  assaulting  column  this  storm  of  death  rained 
upon  the  devoted  troops;  night  had  closed  sud- 
denly in,  unrelieved  even  by  the  light  of  stars, 
for  the  sky  was  black  with  thunder-clouds.  The 
colored  regiment  in  the  advance,  led  by  the  flower 
of  Massachusetts  loyalty,  did  all  that  could  be 
asked  of  them ;  they  melted  away  rapidly  in  the 
darkness,  but  still  pushed  forward,  dashing  through 
the  water  of  the  ditch  and  climbing  the  parapet  of 
the  fort.  There  their  heroic  young  colonel  fell, 
shot  dead  among  his  foremost  men,  and  the  deci- 
mated regiment  streamed  back  to  the  rear,  carrying 
some  confusion  into  the  ranks  of  those  following 
them.  Strong's  men  rallied  gallantly,  and,  supported 
by  Putnam's  brigade,  they  gained  the  southeast 
bastion  and  held  it  for  several  hours.  But,  ignorant 
of  the  interior  arrangements  of  the  work,  they 
could  make  no  further  progress,  and  were  being 
gradually  killed  at  the  enemy's  leisure  when,  about 
midnight,  they  abandoned  the  hopeless  contest,  and 
such  of  them  as  were  able  made  their  way  back 

FORT    WAGNER  431 

to  their  camps.  The  loss  had  been  extraordinarily  chap.  xv. 
severe.  Besides  Colonel  Shaw,  General  Strong  and 
Colonels  John  L.  Chatneld  and  Putnam  were  killed 
or  mortally  wounded;  General  Truman  Seymour, 
who  had  immediate  charge  of  the  assault,  was  se- 
verely wounded ;  and  many  other  valuable  officers 
were  killed. 

In  General  Strong  and  Colonel  Putnam  the  army 
lost  two  of  its  most  promising  and  brilliant  leaders, 
equally  eminent  in  character  and  attainments.  The 
death  of  Colonel  Shaw  was  widely  lamented,  not  only 
because  of  his  personal  worth,  but  because  he  had 
become  in  a  certain  sense  the  representative  of  the 
best  strain  of  New  England  anti-slavery  sentiment. 
The  Confederates  recognized  this  representative 
character  by  their  treatment  of  his  corpse,  replying 
to  a  request  of  his  friends  for  his  remains,  that 
they  "  had  buried  him  under  a  layer  of  his 
niggers." 1 

1  The    following    letter    from  prisoners,  and  over  all  others  be- 

Colonel    Shaw's    father    to    the  longing  to  the  colored  regiments 

President    gives   a  striking    in-  in  the   service,  when  they    fall 

stance    of  that  devoted   loyalty  into    the    hands   of  the  enemy, 

which  in  the  brave  young  soldier  And  this  not  only  as  an  act  of 

was  a  legitimate  inheritance.  humanity,    but    as   required   by 

Francis  George  Shaw  wrote  to  justice  and  sound  policy.      Our 

the   President,  July   31,   1863:  colored     soldiers     have    proved 

"  My  only   son,  Colonel  Robert  their  devotion  and  valor  in  the 

George  Shaw,  of  the  54th  Regi-  field ;  they    deserve    that    their 

ment  Massachusetts  Volunteers  rights  and  the  responsibilities  of 

(colored  troops),  was  killed  on  the  the   Government  towards    them 

parapet  of  Fort  Wagner,  in  South  shall  be  proclaimed  to  the  world 

Carolina,  and  now  lies  buried  in  and  shall  be  maintained  against 

its    ditch  among  his  brave   and  all  enemies.    If  our  son's  services 

devoted  followers.      I  feel  that  and  death  shall  contribute  in  any 

I  have  the  right  in  his  name  to  degree  towards  securing  to  our 

intreat  you  that  immediate  mea-  colored  troops  that  equal  justice 

sures   be  taken    to    extend   the  which   is  a  holy  right  of    every 

protection  of  the   United  States  loyal  defender    of    our    beloved 

over  his  surviving    officers  and  country,    we    shall    esteem    our 

men,   some  of    whom    are  now  great  loss  a  blessing." 


chap.  xv.  General  Gillmore,  though  powerfully  affected  by 
the  waste  and  ruin  of  this  unsuccessful  assault, 
began  instantly  to  accomplish  the  work  assigned 
him  in  another  and  a  better  way.  He  had  lost 
1500  men  in  his  gallant  rush  upon  Wagner,  and 
had  inflicted  comparatively  no  damage  upon  the 
enemy.  The  heavy  cannonade  from  land  and  sea 
had  done  nothing  more  than  mar  the  symmetry  of 
the  thick  walls  of  fine,  white  quartz  sand ;  a  few 
hours'  work  by  night  could  repair  all  the  injuries  in- 
flicted by  many  tons  of  metal  during  the  day.  The 
impregnable  bomb-proof  could  shelter  the  full  gar- 
rison ;  one  thousand  men  mounting  the  parapet  at 
a  given  moment  could  hold  an  army  of  twenty 
times  their  number  at  bay,  advancing  along  the 
narrowing  path  of  sand.  There  was  nothing  to  be 
done  but  to  press  the  siege  by  gradual  approaches ; 
and  even  this  course  was  surrounded  by  most  for- 
midable difficulties.  The  scanty  isthmus,  twenty- 
five  yards  at  its  narrowest  part,  and  subject  to 
frequent  overflow  by  the  tides,  was  swept  not  only 
by  the  fire  of  Wagner  in  front,  but  by  that  of  Bat- 
tery Gregg  on  Cumming's  Point,  at  the  northern 
extremity  of  the  island,  by  numerous  heavily  armed 
batteries  on  James  Island,  and  by  the  destructive 
plunging  fire  of  Fort  Sumter  delivered  over  the 
heads  of  Wagner  and  Gregg.  The  first  preoccu- 
pation of  General  Gillmore  was  the  "elimination 
of  Fort  Sumter  from  the  contest."  Even  while  his 
thinned  battalions  were  retreating  from  their  assault 

1863.       on  the  18th  of  July,  he  gave  orders  for  the  formation 

^e^rt6'    of  a  strong  defensive  line,  capable  of  resisting  any 

^xvm0,1'  possible  sortie,  which  was  afterwards  called  the  First 

^17."     Parallel. 


FOET    WAGNER  433 

On  the  night  of  the  23d  he  established  his  chap.xv. 
second  parallel  by  the  flying  sap,  six  hundred  July,  i863. 
yards  in  advance  of  the  first,  stretching  his  line 
diagonally  across  the  island  on  a  ridge  of  sand, 
resting  his  left  on  Vincent's  Creek,  which  was 
guarded  by  a  floating  boom,  and  extending  his 
right  by  a  barricade  to  low-water  mark,  termina- 
ting in  a  strong  crib-work,  on  which  was  established 
a  powerful  and  novel  arrangement  of  guns,  known  xxviil,' 
as  the  "surf  battery."  At  every  advance  he  p-is." 
planted  breaching  batteries  against  Fort  Sumter; 
this  part  of  the  work  being  under  the  charge  of 
Major  T.  B.  Brooks,  a  volunteer  officer,  one  of  the 
most  notable  instances,  of  which  there  were  so 
many,  of  extraordinary  military  capacity  suddenly 
developed  in  young  men  whose  training  had 
hitherto  been  exclusively  in  civil  pursuits.  Admi- 
ral Dahlgren  gave  his  earnest  cooperation  in  this 
work ;  one  of  the  most  important  of  the  breaching 
batteries  was  armed  and  manned  from  the  fleet, 
under  the  command  of  Captain  Foxhall  Parker. 

Under  the  incessant  fire  of  the  enemy's  batteries 
from  front  and  flank,  these  operations  went  on; 
not  satisfied  with  occupying  every  foot  of  the 
sand-spit,  Gillmore  resolved  to  establish  a  battery, 
bearing  both  upon  Sumter  and  the  city  of  Charles- 
ton, in  the  deep  mire  of  the  morass  separating 
Morris  from  James  Island.  This  apparently  im- 
possible task  was  successfully  carried  out ;  nothing 
was  left  to  chance;  every  step  of  the  work  was 
founded  upon  careful  experiment  and  scientific 
induction.  On  a  bed  of  soft  black  mud,  sixteen 
feet  deep,  in  a  swamp  overgrown  with  reeds  and 
grasses,  traversed  by  winding  bayous,  and  subject 
Vol.  VII.— 28 


chap.  xv.  to  daily  overflow  by  the  sea- waves,  a  battery  was 
built  and  immediately  christened  by  the  soldiers 
the  "  Swamp  Angel."  We  will  give  General  Gill- 
more's  description  of  this  unique  structure :  "  The 
'Marsh  Battery 'consisted  of  a  sand-bag  parapet  with 
a  return  or  epaulement  of  the  same  material  at  each 
end ;  the  whole  supported  by  a  broad  grillage,  com- 
posed of  round  timbers  in  two  layers,  crossing  each 
other  at  right  angles,  and  resting  directly  on  the  sur- 
face of  the  marsh.  In  this  grillage,  in  rear  of  the  para- 
pet, there  was  a  rectangular  opening  through  both 
layers  of  logs,  exactly  of  the  proper  size  to  receive 
the  platform  of  the  gun,  and  surrounded  by  closely 
fitting  sheathing  piles.  These  piles  reached  from 
the  upper  surface  of  the  grillage  entirely  through 
the  stratum  of  mud  into  the  solid  substratum  of 
sand.  Within  this  rectangular  space,  thus  closely 
confined  laterally  by  the  piles,  layers  of  marsh 
grass,  canvas,  and  sand  were  placed  directly  on  the 
mud,  to  the  aggregate  depth  of  several  inches,  the 
sand  being  on  top.  On  the  sand  rested  a  compact 
sub-platform  of  planks.  On  these  planks  the  gun- 
Giiimore,  platform  was  placed.  The  epaulment  and  the 
"Engineer  gun  were  therefore  so  far  independent  of  each 
Artmeiy  other,  that  the  subsidence  or  displacement  of  the 
against18   one  would  not   necessarily  involve    that  of  the 

Charles-  n         „ 

ton,"  p.  52.  other." 

1863.  On  the  9th  of  August  Major  Brooks  established 

the  third  parallel  with  the  flying  sap,  an  advance 
of  over  three  hundred  yards,  and  at  this  time  the 
fire  from  the  semi-circle  of  Confederate  forts  and 
from  the  sharpshooters  in  Wagner  became  so  inces- 
sant and  so  galling  that  General  Gillmore  concluded 
that  for  the  success  of  his  siege  operations  against 




Wagner  it  would  be  necessary  to  breach  Fort  chap,  xv 
Sumter  and  put  an  end  to  the  annoyance  of  its  fire. 
He  was  not  without  hope,  also,  that  after  he  had 
demolished  Sumter  he  might  invest  the  island  so  as 
to  insure  the  fall  of  Wagner  and  Gregg.  He  was 
compelled  to  wait  a  few  days  on  account  of  the 
inferior  quality  of  his  powder,  but  having  been 
generously  supplied  by  the  navy  he  began  on  the 
17th  of  August,  in  concert  with  Admiral  Dahlgren,  a 
furious  and  sustained  bombardment  of  Fort  Sum- 
ter. Every  battery  had  its  work  assigned  it;  the 
distances  from  the  batteries  to  the  fort  ranged  from 
3500  to  4300  yards;  for  seven  days  the  storm  of 
metal  cast  over  that  expanse  of  beach  and  water 
rained  upon  the  fort,  until,  on  the  24th,  Grillmore 
was  able  to  report  to  the  general-in-chief  its 
"  practical  demolition."  "  The  barbette  fire  of  the 
work  was  entirely  destroyed.  A  few  unserviceable 
pieces,  still  remaining  on  their  carriages,  were 
dismounted  a  week  later.  The  casemates  of 
the  channel  fronts  were  more  or  less  thoroughly 
searched  by  our  fire,  and  we  had  trustworthy  in- 
formation that  but  one  serviceable  gun  remained 
in  the  work,  and  that  pointed  up  the  harbor  to- 
wards the  city.  The  fort  was  reduced  to  the  con- 
dition of  a  mere  infantry  outpost." 

While  this  demolition  of  Sumter  was  going  on, 
the  siege  work  against  Wagner,  which  had  been 
checked  for  a  while,  was  again  pushed  forward. 
On  the  night  of  the  21st  the  fourth  parallel  was 
opened,  and  five  days  later  a  ridge  in  front  of  it 
was  carried  by  a  bayonet  charge,  and  a  fifth  parallel 
established  within  two  hundred  and  forty  yards  of 
the  fort.    Nothing  now  intervened  between  the 

"  Engineer 
tions," p.  62. 



Chap.  XV. 


besiegers  and  besieged  but  a  flat  ridge  of  sand 
twenty-five  yards  wide,  washed  over  by  the  seas  in 
high  weather.  This  was  found  to  be  thickly  planted 
with  torpedoes,  and  captured  Confederates  said 
the  glacis  of  the  fort  was  also  full  of  them.  In  the 
midst  of  these  hidden  perils  the  sappers  worked  on, 
and  a  single  night  brought  them  to  within  one 
hundred  yards  of  Wagner.  Here  they  were  brought 
to  a  standstill.  "  The  converging  fire  from  Wagner 
alone  almost  enveloped  the  head  of  our  sap, 
delivered  as  it  was  from  a  line  subtending  an  angle 
of  nearly  ninety  degrees,  while  the  flank  fire  from 
the  James  Island  batteries  increased  in  power  and 
accuracy  every  hour.  To  push  forward  the  sap  in 
the  narrow  strip  of  shallow  sifting  sand  by  day  was 
impossible,  while  the  brightness  of  the  prevailing 
harvest  moon  rendered  the  operation  almost  as 
hazardous  by  night." 

A  feeling  of  doubt  and  discouragement  began  to 
prevail,  when  Grillmore  resolved  upon  a  final  and  vig- 
orous movement  which  ended  the  siege.  He  moved 
all  his  light  mortars  to  the  front  and  placed  them  in 
battery,  brought  his  sharpshooters  forward,  trained 
his  breeching  batteries  on  the  fort,  arranged  power- 
ful calcium  lights  to  aid  his  own  men  and  blind 
the  eyes  of  the  enemy,  and  secured  the  ever-ready 
cooperation  of  the  navy  in  a  final  bombardment  of 
the  rebel  work.  At  daybreak  on  the  5th  of  Sep- 
tember the  whole  armament  opened  fire,  and  for 
forty-two  hours  the  soldiers  were  regaled  with  a 
ibid.,  p.  70.  spectacle  of  unequaled  magnificence.  The  mortars 
threw  their  shells  over  the  sappers'  heads  into  the 
fort;  thirteen  of  the  monstrous  Parrotts,  100,  200, 
and  300  pounders,  sent  their  howling  missiles  at  the 

"  Engineer 
tions," p.  69 

FORT    WAGNER  437 

angle  of  the  bomb-proofs ;  the  New  Ironsides,  under  chap.  rv. 
Captain  Rowan,  cast  the  ricocheting  shells  from 
her  eight-gun  broadsides  over  the  hissing  waters  to 
climb  the  parapets  and  explode  within  the  fort. 
By  night  the  Union  men  worked  with  perfect 
security  in  the  shadow,  while  the  calcium  lights 
showed  them  every  inch  of  the  enemy's  works. 

There  was  no  withstanding  such  a  fire  as  this ; 
the  Confederates  fled  to  their  bomb-proof.  Fill- 
more's sappers  pushed  rapidly  onward ;  they  were 
out  of  danger  from  the  moment  they  had  got  so  near 
to  Wagner  that  the  James  Island  batteries  ceased  to 
fire  for  fear  of  hitting  their  friends.  A  feeling  of 
exultation  took  possession  of  them ;  the  diggers  off 
duty  mounted  their  parapets  and  coolly  surveyed 
the  works  of  the  enemy,  a  few  feet  away,  which 
gave  no  sign  of  life.  On  the  night  of  the  6th  the  sept.,  lses 
sappers  pushed  past  the  south  face  of  the  fort, 
masking  its  guns,  and  removed  the  pikes  planted 
at  the  foot  of  the  counter-scarp  of  the  sea-front. 
The  way  was  now  open,  and  Gillmore  ordered  an 
assault  on  the  morning  of  the  7th ;  but  shortly  after 
midnight  the  enemy  left  the  fort  and  silently 
evacuated  the  island.  Some  seventy  prisoners 
were  caught  in  the  darkness  on  the  water.  Eigh- 
teen pieces  of  heavy  ordnance  were  found  in 
Wagner,  seven  in  Battery  Gregg.  Gillmore  was 
surprised  at  the  strength  of  the  fort;  it  exceeded 
all  that  spies  or  deserters  had  reported.  After  the 
terrible  bombardment  it  was  virtually  intact. 

These  operations  were  not  carried  on  without  a 
vigorous  correspondence  with  General  Beauregard ; 
no  one  could  entertain  relations  with  that  sprightly 
general  either  as  enemy  or  as  friend  except  at  the 


chap.  xv.  cost  of  voluminous  letter- writing.  On  the  4th  of 
July  he  considered  it  his  "  duty "  to  deliver  an 
extended  lecture  to  General  Gillmore  in  regard  to 
the  misdeeds  of  his  predecessor ;  he  gave  a  graphic 
account  of  General  Hunter's  administration,  his 
raids  on  the  mainland,  his  pillage  of  plantations 
and  seizure  of  slaves ;  he  held  up  the  noble  example 
of  Napoleon,  who  refused  the  aid  of  Eussian  serfs 

gariirto  against  their  government;  and  demanded  a  reply 
jSy^iS.  from  Gillmore  as  to  whether  he  proposed  to  con- 

xxvitl,  '  tinue  the  "  barbarian  "  practices  of  which  he  com- 

pp.  11-13.  plained.  General  Gillmore  replied,  with  judicious 
brevity,  that  while  he  and  his  Government  would 
scrupulously  endeavor  to  conduct  the  war  upon 
principles  established  by  usage  among  civilized 
nations,  he  should  expect  from  the  commanding 

t?B<SSri   general  opposed  to  him  full  compliance  with  the 

j!fyd2o,  same  rules  in  their  unrestricted  application  to  all 
p.  21.  '.'  the  forces  under  his  command.  It  is  hardly  pos- 
sible that  General  Beauregard  did  not  understand 
the  meaning  of  this  note;  but  he  answered  on  July 
22,  pretending  ignorance,  and  calling  for  more  spe- 
cific charges ;  a  demand  with  which  Gillmore  complied 
succinctly,  but  definitely  enough,  on  the  5  th  of  Au- 
gust, saying  that  he  considered  the  expressions  in  his 
former  letter  as  pertinent  and  proper  at  the  time 
they  were  written,  and  that  they  had  been  more 
fully  justified  by  subsequent  events.  He  then 
quoted  the  agreement  entered  into  for  parole  and 
exchange  of  wounded  prisoners,  and  referred  to  the 
violation  of  this  agreement  by  the  Confederates. 
"You  declined,"  he  said,  "to  return  the  wounded 

xxviii0,'  officers  and  men  belonging  to  my  colored  regi- 
p.38.  "    ments,  and  your    subordinate  in  charge   of   the 

FORT    WAGNER  439 

exchange  asserted  that  that  question  had  been  left   chap.  xv. 
for  af ter-consideration."    He  could  only  regard  this 
action  as  a  palpable  breach  of  faith. 

Later  in  the  month  of  August,  in  the  midst  of 
the  terrific  cannonade  upon  Sumter,  another  inter- 
change of  warlike  missives  took  place  between  the 
commanders.  The  Marsh  Battery  —  the  famous 
"  Swamp  Angel,"  whose  construction  has  been 
already  described  —  having  been  completed  on  the 
21st  of  August,  General  Gillmore  sent  to  the  Con- 
federate general  a  letter  demanding  the  evacuation 
of  Morris  Island  and  Fort  Sumter,  and  informing 
him  that  in  case  of  refusal  he  should  open  fire,  four 
hours  after  delivery  of  the  letter,  upon  the  city  S§».  ' 
of  Charleston  from  batteries  already  established 
in  range  of  the  heart  of  the  city.  This  letter  by  xxvin0,' 
inadvertence  was  sent  unsigned,  and  was  at  once  pp-  57,  sL 
returned,  and  then  signed  and  sent  back.  After 
waiting  fourteen  hours,  instead  of  four,  the  Swamp 
Angel  opened  fire,  throwing  a  few  shots  into  the 
sleeping  city  by  way  of  warning  and  exhortation. 

The  next  morning  General  Beauregard  replied  in 
words  as  furious,  if  not  so  sonorous,  as  the  tones  of 
the  Marsh  Battery.  He  sermonized  Gillmore  as  to 
his  duties  under  the  rules  of  "  nations  not  barbar- 
ous " ;  he  reminded  him  that  Wagner,  Gregg,  and 
Sumter  were  much  nearer  to  him  than  Charleston, 
and  seemed  to  think  there  was  special  depravity  in 
firing  on  the  city  from  a  battery  "  quite  five  miles 
distant";  an  act,  indeed,  of  "inexcusable  barbar- 
ity " ;  that  the  shots  fired  were  "  the  most  destruc- 
tive missiles  ever  used  in  war  " ;  growing  sarcastic, 
he  asked  why  he  did  not  demand  the  surrender  of 
all  the  forts ;  and,  finally,  he  "  solemnly  warned n 


chap.  xv.  his  adversary  that  if  he  fired  again  on  the  city 
without  giving  a  reasonable  time  to  remove  non- 

^xxvm0,1,  combatants  he  would  employ  "  stringent  means  of 

pp.  58, 59.  retaliation."  Gillmore  replied  at  once,  paying  no 
attention  to  the  excited  rhetoric  of  Beauregard, 
simply  calling  his  attention  "  to  the  well-established 
principle  that  the  commander  of  a  place  attacked, 
but  not  invested,  having  its  avenues  of  escape  open 
and  practicable,  has  no  right  to  expect  any  notice 
of  an  intended  bombardment  other  than  that  which 
is  given  by  the  threatening  attitude  of  his  adver- 

ibid.,  p.  60.  sary."  Charleston  had  already  had  forty  days' 
notice  of  her  danger;  the  attack  on  her  defenses 
had  been  that  long  steadily  in  progress ;  the  object 
of  that  attack  had  been  at  no  time  doubtful.  If  the 
life  of  a  single  non-combatant  were  exposed  to 
peril  by  bombardment,  the  responsibility  rested 
with  those  who  had  failed  to  apprise  them  of  their 
danger,  or  to  provide  for  their  safety,  and  who  had 
refused  to  accept  the  terms  upon  which  the  bom- 
bardment might  have  been  postponed.  General 
Gillmore  said  it  was  his  belief  that  most  of  the 
women  and  children  had  long  been  removed  from 
the  city ;  on  Beauregard's  assurance,  however,  that 
the  city  was  still  full  of  them,  he  would  suspend 
the  fire  upon  it  until  eleven  o'clock  on  the  night  of 

Aug.,  1863.  the  23d,  thus  giving  forty-eight  hours  for  the 
removal  of  non-combatants  from  the  time  his  first 
communication  was  received.  At  the  expiration  of 
this  respite  the  Swamp  Angel  again  opened,  throw- 
ing her  eight-inch  shells  over  five  miles  of  marsh 
and  beach  and  bay  into  the  heart  of  the  frightened 
city.  The  non-combatants  poured  in  a  continuous 
stream   out   of  the  town;  but  little   damage  was 

FORT    WAGNER  441 

done.  The  famous  battery,  built  with  such  skill  chap.  xv. 
and  care,  had  but  a  brief  history ;  its  great  Parrott 
gun  burst  at  the  thirty-sixth  discharge,  and  was 
never  replaced,  though  two  sea-coast  mortars  were 
afterwards  mounted  in  the  battery,  to  operate 
against  James  Island. 

On  the  night  of  the  8th  of  September  an  attempt 
was  made  by  a  detachment  from  the  fleet  to  carry 
Fort  Sumter  by  a  coup-de-main.  This  plan  had 
occurred  to  General  Gillmore  at  the  same  time, 
but  the  force  he  had  detailed  for  that  purpose  was 
detained  by  low  tide  in  the  creek,  and  did  not  get 
off  until  the  sailors  and  marines  had  attacked  and 
had  been  repulsed  with  severe  loss  in  the  darkness. 
After  this  the  army  busied  itself  for  several  weeks 
in  reconstructing  the  captured  forts  on  Morris 
Island  and  turning  their  guns  against  the  Con-  ™£ort?' 
federate  works  in  the  harbor.      On  the  26th  of  mt*  wfk 


October  the  heavy  rifle-guns  were  opened  once  xxvrii., 
more  against  Sumter,  and  two  monitors  from  the  p-  30« ' 
fleet  joined  in  the  bombardment,  which  in  the 
course  of  a  few  days  cut  down  the  southeast  face 
of  the  work  so  as  to  expose  the  channel  fronts  to  a 
reverse  fire ;  the  debris  soon  formed  a  continuous 
and  practicable  ramp  from  the  top  of  the  breach  to 
the  water's  edge.  Fort  Sumter  was  now  a  ruin, 
sheltering  an  infantry  outpost,  but  encircled  by 
the  other  forts  in  the  harbor,  which  had  been 
greatly  strengthened  during  the  summer  and 
autumn.  It  continued  to  be  held  by  the  Confed- 
erates until  Sherman  marched  North  from  Savan- 
nah in  the  spring  of  1865. 

General  Gillmore  had  not  troops  enough  to  make 
a  land  attack  upon  Charleston,  and  Admiral  Dahl- 


chap. xv.   gren  did  not  think  it  possible  with  his   "seven 
DaMgren,    battered  monitors "  to  move  upon  the  formidable 

Letter  x 

committee   seri-es  °f  works  which  lined  the  harbor  on  every 
of  thenwar!  side.    He  convened  a  council  of  his  commanders  of 
Jui864?0'     ironclads, — men  of  tried  courage  and  intelligence, — 
who  decided  unanimously  that  Forts  Moultrie  and 
Johnson  could  not  be  reduced  by  the  navy  with- 
out the  cooperation  of  the  troops,  and  by  a  vote 
1863.       of  six  to  four  that  the  attempt  to  penetrate  to 
Charleston  with  the  monitors  would  be  attended 
with  extreme  risk  without  adequate  results.    The 
bombardment  of  Wagner,   and  later  the   attack 
by  the  ironclads  on  Moultrie,  had  shown  that  the 
damage  inflicted  by  the  severest  fire  on  such  sand- 
works  was  incommensurate  with  the  great  expense 
and  risk.    "  The  ironclads,"  says  Dahlgren,  "  might 
steam  in  and  make  a  promenade  of  the  harbor, 
suffering  much  damage  and  inflicting  little,  then 
committee  retire.     To  remain  in    would  only  be  a  useless 
SSfwar!  expenditure  of  valuable  vessels,  which  could  not 
vol.  iil    soon  be  replaced."    The  only  result,  therefore,  of 
the  year's   campaign  was  the   completion  of  the 
blockade  of  Charleston  by  the  possession  of  Morris 
Island,  which  gave  a  shorter  line  to  the  fleet,  and 
by  the  demolition  of  Fort  Sumter,  which  allowed 
more  freedom  of  action  to  the  squadron  in  the 
lower  bay. 

The  mutual  criticisms   of  the    opposing  com- 
manders in  this  campaign  are  curious ;  each  thinks 
the   other  at  fault.     General   Gillmore   contends 
"En-meer   that  Fort  Wagner,  though  formidable  in  construc- 
Artniery    tion  was  wrongly  placed;   that  after  the  primary 
tums?"     error  of  abandoning  Cole's  Island,  which  gave  up 
Folly  and  made  possible  the  movement  against 

FOET    WAGNER  443 

Morris,  the  great  mistake  of  the  enemy  was  in  chap.xv. 
not  fortifying  the  southern  end  of  the  island,  and  in 
placing  Fort  Wagner  so  near  to  Sumter  that  he 
was  compelled  to  "witness  the  humiliating  spectacle 
of  the  destruction  of  his  principal  work  on  an  in- 
terior line  over  the  heads  of  the  defenders  of  an    xxvm., 

Part  I. 

exterior  one."      The  special  defense   of   Wagner,       p.  36." 
Gillmore  thinks,  was  faulty  in  two  particulars ;  it 
was   too  passive ;    not   a  single  night  sortie  was 
made ;  and,  second,  there  was  little  use  of  curved 
fire,  though  the  two  mortars  they  had  seriously  de- 
layed the  advance  of  the  national  sappers.   General 
Beauregard,  on  the  other  hand,  condemns  Grill- 
more's  plan  of  campaign  as  a  whole.      "James 
Island,"  he  says,  "was  the  avenue  of  approach  I 
dreaded  the  most  to  see  selected.  .  .  It  was  in  re- 
ality the  entrance-gate  to  the  avenue  which  would     Beaure. 
have  almost  assuredly  led  into  the  heart  of  Charles-  Deff S  of 
ton.   The  enemy  preferred  breaking  in  through  the     ^ton?8" 
'  window,'  and  I  certainly  had  no  cause  to  regret    American 
his  having  done  so."    But  General  Gillmore  insists   June,  lsk 
that  his  force  was  too  small  to  justify  an  attack 
by  way  of  James  Island,  which  was  too  wide  for  his 
small  force  to  operate  on,  and  where  he  would  have 
been  met  by  superior  numbers  of  the  enemy.    On 
Morris    Island,   however,   where    the    space    was 
narrow,  his  force  was  ample ;   both  parties  there 
had  all  the  troops  there  was  room  for ;  the  ad- 
vantage was  on  the  side  which  was  superior  in 
artillery,  afloat  and  ashore,  in  engineering  devices, 
and  in  a  steadily  maintained  initiative.    Moreover, 
he  especially  wished  to  demolish  Fort  Sumter,  and 
took  the  best  means  to  that  end. 



chap.  xvi.  f  I  ^HE  treatment,  on  both  sides,  of  prisoners  of 
JL  war  is  a  subject  which  any  one  of  ordinary 
sensibility  would  gladly  avoid ;  but  it  is  too  impor- 
tant to  pass  over  in  silence.  We  shall  deal  with  it 
briefly.  We  cannot  persuade  ourselves  to  repeat 
in  these  pages  the  stories  of  horrible  suffering 
which  may  be  found  in  the  narratives  of  the  sur- 
vivors of  the  prison  pens ;  but  it  would  not  be  just 
to  omit  all  mention  of  one  of  the  most  dreadful 
results  of  the  war.  By  even  a  slight  reference  to 
the  unspeakable  woes  inflicted  upon  tens  of  thou- 
sands of  human  beings  by  a  state  of  civil  war,  we 
may  hope  to  bring  home  to  the  minds  of  readers  of 
a  later  generation  some  sense  of  what  such  a  con- 
flict means.  It  is  not  to  arraign  the  people  of  the 
South  that  this  chapter  is  written ;  we  know  them 
to  be  in  general  of  the  same  blood,  the  same  feel- 
ings, as  those  of  the  North.  If  during  several 
years  they  subjected  their  kindred  whom  the  for- 
tunes of  battle  threw  into  their  hands  to  horrors 
which  it  is  no  figure  of  speech  to  call  infernal,  it  is 
not  they  who  are  to  blame,  but  the  circumstances 
which  rebellion  brought  upon  the  people  of  the 
whole  country. 


PRISONERS    OF    WAR  445 

The  entire  subject  of  the  exchange  and  treat-  chap.xvi. 
ment  of  prisoners  is  fully  set  forth  in  a  volume  of 
twelve  hundred  pages,  issued  by  the  Fortieth  Con- 
gress in  1869.  It  embodies  the  result  of  a  year's 
labor  of  a  committee  of  Congress,  in  the  course  of 
which  the  members  were  so  shocked  and  inflamed 
by  the  contemplation  of  the  frightful  stories  of 
suffering  which  were  told  them  that  their  own 
language  takes  on  the  tone  of  the  half -frantic  vic- 
tims of  Andersonville.  The  reader  who  desires  to 
look  thoroughly  into  this  revolting  subject  is  re- 
ferred to  this  book,  and  to  the  sworn  testimony  of 
the  witnesses  in  the  trial  of  Wirz,  the  keeper  of  the 
Andersonville  prison.  The  first  volume  of  the 
"  Southern  Historical  Society  Papers "  is  mainly 
devoted  to  the  Confederate  view  of  the  case.  We 
merely  refer  to  these  documents  as  giving  the  two 
sides  of  the  question  from  strongly  partisan  points 
of  view.  The  most  candid  and  accurate  statement 
of  the  treatment  of  the  question  of  exchanges  is  to 
be  found  in  Greneral  E.  R.  S.  Canby's  report  to  the 
Fortieth  Congress,  which  gives  all  the  correspon- 
dence between  the  two  governments.  As  to  the  treat- 
ment of  Union  prisoners,  after  long  deliberation,  we 
have  resolved  not  to  quote  from  any  Northern  source. 
In  the  pages  of  the  works  above  mentioned,  and  in 
the  personal  narratives  of  Union  officers  and  sol- 
diers, such  as  Davidson,  Gross,  Isham,  and  hun- 
dreds of  others,  the  reader  may  find  the  hideous 
story  told  in  detail.  We  restrict  ourselves  here,  as 
to  the  question  of  exchange,  to  the  official  corre- 
spondence of  the  two  governments,  and  as  to  the 
treatment  of  prisoners,  to  the  reports  and  sworn 
statements  of  Confederate  officers. 


chap  xvi.  One  of  the  earliest  embarrassments  of  the  Gov- 
ernment was  the  question  how  insurgents  captured 
with  arms  in  their  hands  should  be  treated.  No 
one  rightly  estimated  the  extent  or  the  duration 
which  the  insurrection  was  to  assume.  If  it  were 
to  be  speedily  brought  to  a  close  a  cartel  for  the 
exchange  of  prisoners  was  altogether  undesirable ; 
if  it  were  to  continue  any  length  of  time  such  an 
exchange  would  of  course  become  necessary,  but  it 
must  be  effected  with  care  and  circumspection,  lest 
in  the  process  the  insurrectionary  government 
should  extort  some  quasi-recognition  of  its  legal- 
ity. The  matter  ought  not  perhaps  to  have  pre- 
sented any  insurmountable  difficulty;  the  law  of 
nations  clearly  enough  provides  for  all  such  inci- 
dents of  civil  war.  A  nation  loses  none  of  its  rights 
by  following  the  dictates  of  humanity.  As  Dr.  Theo- 
dore D.  Woolsey  says :  "  The  same  rules  of  war  are 
required  in  such  a  war  as  in  any  other  —  the  same 
ways  of  fighting,  the  same  treatment  of  prisoners, 
of  combatants  or  of  non-combatants,  and  of  pri- 
vate property  by  the  army  where  it  passes.  .  . 
In  general,  the  relations  of  the  parties  ought  to 
be  nearly  those  of  ordinary  war,  which  humanity 
demands,  and  will  be,  because  otherwise  the  law  of 
retaliation  will  be  applied."  But  in  the  early  days 
of  the  war  the  state  was  so  encompassed  by  dan- 
gers at  home  and  abroad  that  the  simplest  actions 
seemed  of  doubtful  propriety.  The  Government 
had  not  only  to  guard  against  a  vigilant  opposition 
at  home,  ready  to  seize  upon  any  pretext  for 
attack,  but  it  had  also  to  be  constantly  in  an  atti- 
tude of  defense  against  European  powers,  which 
would  have  taken  advantage  of  anything  in  the 

PRISONERS    OF    WAR  447 

conduct  of  the  United  States  Government   that  chap.  xvi. 
would  justify  the  recognition  of  the  Confederacy. 
Recognition  once  granted,  intervention  would  not 
have  been  far  distant. 

When  the  United  States  troops  in  Texas  were 
surrendered  by  Twiggs  they  were  granted  terms  of 
ostentatious  liberality.  "They  are  our  friends," 
the  Texan  commissioners  wrote ;  "  they  have  here- 
tofore afforded  our  people  all  the  protection  in  their 
power,  and  we  owe  to  them  every  consideration." 
They  were  to  be  allowed  to  leave  the  State  unmo- 
lested, carrying  their  arms  with  them.  But  before 
they  got  away  the  collision  at  Fort  Sumter  took  place, 
and  they  were  seized  and  disarmed,  some  paroled  and 
some  imprisoned.    A  part  of  them  were  released,     Report', 

.  "  Treat- 

but  others  were  held  in  defiance  of  the  terms  of     mentof 

Twiggs's  surrender  for  over  two  years.  After  the  war  p-  288. ' 
began  no  treatment  seemed  harsh  enough  for  these 
friends  and  protectors  of  the  frontiers.  Various 
citizens  wrote  to  Jefferson  Davis,  suggesting  that 
they  be  put  to  hard  labor  on  the  railroads;  that 
they  be  starved  unless  the  United  States  would  feed 
them ;  that  they  be  put  upon  a  diet  of  bread  and 
water ;  that  their  left  legs  should  be  broken  and  they 
be  turned  loose ;  that  those  among  them  who  were 
foreigners  should  be  killed.  These  suggestions  were 
referred  by  Mr.  Davis  to  his  Secretary  of  War.  p.  239! 

During  the  year  1861  no  general  policy  for  the 
exchange  of  prisoners  was  adopted.  In  the  tem- 
per both  parties  were  in,  no  formal  cartel  was 
possible ;  the  Confederates  demanded  the  treatment 
of  a  recognized  government,  which  the  United 
States  was  not  prepared  to  grant.  Yet  exchanges 
were  made  from  time  to  time  by  generals  in  the 


chap.  xvi.  field,  at  the  bidding  of  immediate  necessity,  and 
without  touching  the  larger  questions.  At  the  open- 
ing of  the  year  1862  the  Washington  authorities,  de- 
siring to  release  the  prisoners  of  the  first  battle  of 
Bull  Run,  made  an  effort  to  effect  an  exchange ; 
but  the  Confederate  demands  seemed  inadmissible. 
These  were,  in  effect,  that  seamen  taken  in  rebel 
privateers  should  be  exchanged  on  equal  terms 
with  seamen  in  the  merchant  service ;  that  United 
States  regulars  should  not  be  exchanged  for  South- 
ern volunteers ;  and  that  no  proposition  for  the 
exchange  of  Southern  privateers  should  be  consid- 
ered without  "  an  absolute,  unconditional  abandon- 
Benjamin    ment  of  the  pretext  that  they  are  pirates,"  their 

to  General          ,  «  n  .  „  ,  ■,       ,-. 

Huger,     release  irom    confinement    as    ielons,    and    their 

Jan  •  23 

1862.  '  treatment  as  other  prisoners  of  war.  The  Presi- 
dent had  already  resolved  to  adopt  the  course  here 
suggested  in  regard  to  rebel  privateers.  The 
certainty  of  bloody  reprisals  upon  Union  officers 
in  Richmond  had  induced  the  President  to  give 
up  all  thought  of  exceptional  treatment  of  priva- 
teers, even  before  the  end  of  1861.  Four  men  of 
the  crew  of  the  privateer  Jefferson  Davis  had  been 
convicted  of  piracy  and  sentenced  to  death ;  others 
were  awaiting  trial.  The  law  seemed  sufficiently 
clear ;  but  even  if  Mr.  Lincoln  had  been  able  to 
withhold  a  pardon  from  brave  men  engaged  in 
what  they  considered  their  duty,  he  could  never 
have  thus  sentenced  to  death  an  equal  number  of 
Union  officers,  in  rigorous  confinement,  marked  out 
for  shameful  execution.1 

1  See  "Letter  to  Hon.  Ira  the  President  to  prepare  the  pub- 
Harris,"  by  Judge  Charles  P.  lie  mind  for  the  action  he  had 
Daly,  on  this  subject,  written,  as  determined  to  take  in  relation  to 
he  informs  us,  at  the  request  of  privateers  and  prisoners  of  war. 


PRISONERS    OF    WAR  449 

But  before  any  formal  action  was  taken  in  rela-  chap.  xvi. 
tion  to  exchange  the  President  made  an  effort  to 
alleviate  the  condition  of  our  prisoners  in  the 
South  by  appointing  the  Eeverend  Bishop  Ames 
and  the  Hon.  Hamilton  Fish  commissioners  to 
visit  them  and  minister  to  their  wants.  A  large 
sum  of  money  was  given  them  for  this  purpose; 
and  they  were  also  instructed  to  make  a  list  of  all 
prisoners,  giving  "  such  particulars  as  might  be 
interesting  and  proper  for  their  families  to  know, 
or  useful  to  this  Government  for  the  purpose  of  canby's 
effecting  their  exchange  or  release";  they  were  p?m' 
authorized  to  assure  the  Eichmond  authorities 
that  prisoners  held  by  the  United  States  might 
receive  like  visitation  and  relief.  All  this  was 
notified  to  the  Confederate  Government  by  Gen- 
eral Wool,  commanding  at  Fort  Monroe.  In  reply 
they  ignored  the  purpose  of  the  commission  en- 
tirely, and  appointed  James  A0  Seddon  and  C.  M. 
Conrad  to  meet  them  at  Fort  Monroe  and  nego- 
tiate an  exchange  of  prisoners.  Mr.  Fish  and 
Bishop  Ames,  being  thus  repulsed  in  their  humane 
and  charitable  mission,  went  back  to  Washington, 
returned  the  money  with  which  they  had  been 
intrusted,  and  resigned  their  office.  The  President, 
willing  to  sacrifice  not  only  his  own  sense  of  dig- 
nity but  something  of  national  right  to  relieve  a 
large  amount  of  suffering,  yielded  every  point  of 
the  Confederate  demands  and  ordered  arrange- 
ments to  be  made  for  a  general  exchange. 

General  Wool  and  General  Howell  Cobb  therefore 
met  on  the  23d  of  February  to  settle  the  details  of       1862. 
the  business.    But  the  consummation  so  ardently 
desired  by  the  friends  of  the  prisoners  was  again 

Vol.  VII.— 29 


chap.  xvi.  postponed  through  the  persistence  with  which  the 
Confederate  agent  clung  to  certain  phrases,  by 
which  he  hoped  to  gain  some  recognition  from  the 
United  States  of  the  territorial  integrity  of  the 
Confederacy.  He  insisted  that  the  cartel  should 
contain  a  provision  for  delivering  prisoners  of 
either  side  at  "  the  frontier  "  of  their  own  country, 
respectively.  As  the  Confederates  claimed,  at  one 
time  or  another,  all  the  slave  States,  this  phrase 
might  have  been  taken  to  mean  the  Ohio  Eiver  or 
the  Southern  boundary  of  Iowa.  It  was  objected 
to  by  the  President,  and  General  Wool  was  ordered 
to  make  no  arrangement  except  for  actual  ex- 
changes. A  few  exchanges  were  made,  but  the 
question  of  the  hostages  held  against  the  priva- 
teersmen  remained  for  a  long  time  unsettled. 

The  United  States  placed  the  men  captured  at  sea 
and  convicted  as  pirates  on  the  list  of  prisoners,  and 
tendered  them  for  exchange  by  a  letter  from  Gen- 
1862.  eral  Wool  on  the  13th  of  February.  On  the  18th 
Mr.  Benjamin,  Confederate  Secretary  of  War,  ac- 
cepted this  assurance  as  entirely  satisfactory,  said 
the  hostages  had  been  placed  on  the  footing  of 
other  prisoners,  and  would  be  at  once  sent  home 
on  parole.  But  on  the  failure  of  Generals  Wool 
and  Cobb  to  agree  on  a  general  cartel  these  officers 
were,  in  defiance  of  this  agreement,  which  had 
nothing  to  do  with  the  cartel,  once  more  remanded 
to  their  distressing  position  as  hostages,  and  every 
attempt  made  by  the  United  States  for  their  release 
only  riveted  their  fetters  more  strongly.  The  Con- 
federates never  positively  refused  to  give  them  up ; 
but  repeated  promises  to  exchange  them  were 
broken.     The   privateersmen  were   sent   to   Fort 

PRISONERS    OF    WAR  451 

Monroe,  placed  on  a  flag-of -truce  boat,  conveyed  to  chap.  xvi. 
City  Point,  and  kept  there  five  days,  under  promise 
of  exchange  for  the  hostages.  But  the  Confederate 
authorities  could  not  bring  themselves  to  part  with 
such  valuable  property.  The  privateersmen  were 
brought  back,  and  the  hostages  continued  to  lan- 
guish in  prison  for  several  months  longer.  At  last, 
on  the  22d  of  July,  1862,  after  infinite  correspon- 
dence, a  cartel  was  agreed  upon  between  General 
Dix  and  General  D.  H.  Hill,  under  which  the  ex- 
change of  prisoners  was  begun. 

But  the  course  of  exchange  never  ran  smooth. 
There  was  seldom  a  pretext  lacking  to  interrupt  its 
practical  working.  Eobert  Ould,  who  was  placed 
in  charge  of  the  prisoners  soon  after  the  cartel  was 
agreed  upon,  was  a  man  of  unsuitable  temper  and 
character  for  such  a  delicate  and  responsible  duty. 
He  was  not  content  with  carrying  out  with  extrava- 
gant zeal  the  orders  of  his  superiors,  but  was  continu- 
ally seeking  cause  of  dispute  with  the  Federal  agents 
of  exchange.  With  such  a  disposition  existing  both 
in  Richmond  and  at  the  office  of  exchange,  it  is 
not  surprising  that  frequent  wranglings  arose.  It 
would  be  tedious  to  recount  these  controversies  in 
detail ;  a  few  may  be  mentioned  in  passing.  The 
Confederates  insisted  that  it  was  a  breach  of  faith 
for  officers  liberated  on  parole  to  be  sent  to  our 
Northwestern  frontier  against  the  Indians  —  a 
claim  to  which  there  could  be  no  foundation,  unless 
the  savages  who  were  then  massacring  the  women 
and  children  of  the  frontier  were  to  be  regarded 
as  the  allies  of  the  Confederacy.  This  claim  the 
President,  while  anxious  to  avoid  the  slightest  im- 
putation of  bad  faith,  refused  to  allow.    Arrests  of 


chap.  xvi.  citizens  for  treasonable  practices  by  the  United 
States  Government  was  another  ground  of  com- 
plaint and  of  threats  to  repudiate  the  cartel;  so 
was  the  levy  of  military  contributions  by  Pope  and 
his  army.  All  cases  of  grievances  were  promptly 
considered  and,  if  possible,  redressed;  the  Presi- 
dent never  allowed  any  consideration  of  etiquette 
to  stand  in  the  way  of  the  release  of  prisoners. 

It  was  after  the  Proclamation  of  Emancipation 
that  the  most  serious  obstacle  to  the  exchange  of 
prisoners  arose.1  The  Government  at  Eichmond 
had  refused  from  the  beginning  to  regard  negro 
troops  as  soldiers.  Mr.  Seddon,  then  their  Secretary 
of  War,  in  a  letter  to  General  Beauregard,  dated 
November  30,  1862,  instructed  him  that  slaves  in 
flagrant  rebellion  were  subject  to  death ;  that  they 
could  not  be  recognized  as  soldiers,  even  so  far 
as  to  be  tried  and  shot  by  court  martial ;  summary 
execution  must  therefore  be  inflicted  upon  them ; 
but,  to  guard  against  abuses,  this  power  of  death 
caBby'8  should  be  lodged  in  the  general  commanding  the 
p.  305. '  immediate  locality  of  the  capture.  The  object  of 
these  hellish  instructions  was  evidently  to  prevent 
any  record  of  the  murder  of  negro  soldiers  being 
made.  On  the  24th  of  December,  1862,  Jefferson 
Davis  issued  his  proclamation  declaring  General 
Butler  a  felon,  and  ordering  him  to  be  hanged 
without  trial  as  soon  as  captured,  and  also  direct- 
ing that  no  commissioned  officer  of  the  United 
States  taken  captive  should  be  released  on  parole 
until  Butler  was  caught  and  hanged ;  declaring  all 

1  See  Chapter  XXL,  Vol.  VI.  ernment  in  regard  to  negro  troops 
of  this  work,  with  reference  to  the  and  to  the  question  of  retali- 
aetion  of  the  Confederate  Gov-    ation. 

PEISONEKS    OF    WAR  453 

commissioned  officers  in  Butler's  command  "  rob-  chap.  xvi. 
bers  and  criminals  deserving  death,"  and  order- 
ing them,  whenever  captured,  to  be  reserved  for 
execution.  This  frantic  proclamation,  of  course, 
put  an  end  for  a  time  to  the  exchange  of  officers 
on  either  side.  In  his  message  of  the  12th  of  Jan- 
uary, Mr.  Davis  proposed  to  deliver  all  Union  offi-  i863. 
cers  thereafter  captured  to  the  civil  authorities,  to 
be  punished  as  criminals  inciting  to  servile  insur- 
rection; and  on  the  1st  of  May  the  Confederate 
Congress  passed  substantially  the  law  he  proposed. 

It  will  never  be  known  to  what  extent  the  Con- 
federate officers  obeyed  the  horrible  instructions 
of  the  rebel  authorities.  Whenever  questions  were 
asked  by  the  United  States  agent  of  exchange, 
Mr.  Ould  took  a  simple  and  easy  way  out  of 
the  difficulty.  He  pretended  to  know  nothing 
about  it.  He  reported  his  action  in  this  respect  to 
his  Government  in  a  letter  which  deserves  to  be 
made  known,  as  it  preserves  in  a  few  lines  the 
moral  portrait  of  this  serviceable  person.  "As 
yet,  the  Federals,"  he  said,  "  do  not  appear  to  have 
found  any  well-authenticated  case  of  the  retention 
of  the  negro  prisoners.  They  have  made  several 
special  inquiries,  but  in  each  case  there  was  no  rec- 
ord of  any  such  party,  and  I  so  responded.  Having 
no  special  desire  to  find  any  such  case,  it  is  more 
than  probable  the  same  answer  will  be  returned  to  canby's 
every  such  inquiry."  We  find,  however,  in  the  p?^!*' 
rebel  archives  several  documents  which  indicate 
the  commission  of  revolting  crimes  upon  captured 
colored  soldiers. 

On    the    13th   of   June,  1863,    General   Kirby 
Smith,  commanding  the  trans-Mississippi  Depart- 


chap.  xvi.  ment,  wrote  a  letter  to  General  Richard  Taylor, 
who  commanded  in  Louisiana,  containing  these 
words:  "I  have  been  unofficially  informed  that 
some  of  your  troops  have  captured  negroes  in 
arms.  I  hope  this  may  not  be  so,  and  that  your 
subordinates  who  may  have  been  in  command  of 
capturing  parties  may  have  recognized  the  propri- 
ety of  giving  no  quarter  to  armed  negroes  and 
their  officers.  In  this  way  we  may  be  relieved 
from  a  disagreeable  dilemma."  In  an  official  order, 
^sek  '  written  the  same  day,  he  repeated  this  Draconic 
injunction,  and  added  that  if,  unfortunately,  any 
black  soldiers  should  be  taken  alive,  they  should 
not  be  executed  by  the  military,  as  that  would 
provoke  retaliation,  but  should  be  turned  over  to 
canby's  be  dealt  with  by  the  civil  authorities,  to  which 
P. 64i.'  course,  he  said,  "no  exception  can  be  taken." 
Hundreds  of  living  men  who  were  acquainted 
with  Generals  Smith  and  Taylor,  who  have  sat  at 
table  with  them,  who  have  known  them  as  men  of 
sense  and  refinement,  will  find  it  difficult  to  ap- 
preciate the  strange  mental  and  moral  conditions 
into  which  they  must  have  wandered  before  they 
could  put  their  hands  to  propositions  so  uncon- 
sciously fiendish.  Unhappily,  we  are  not  allowed 
the  comfort  of  believing  that  these  crimson  edicts 
went  unfulfilled.  We  have  the  evidence  that  Con- 
federate officers  of  high  rank  did  not  scruple  to 
murder  negro  prisoners,  and  then  lie  about  it  to 
avoid  retaliation.  On  the  8th  of  August  General 
George  L.  Andrews,  commanding  at  Port  Hudson, 
having  heard  a  rumor  of  the  execution  of  certain 
colored  soldiers  near  Jackson,  interrogated  the  Con- 
federate Colonel  J.  L.  Logan  in  regard  to  it.    Logan 


denied  the  story,  not  squarely  but  evasively,  saying  chap.  xvi. 
that  if  done  at  all,  it  was  without  his  knowledge  or 
authority,  threatening  vengeance  in  case  of  any  se- 
verity to  his  soldiers,  and  informing  Andrews  of  his 
intention  to  place  the  Union  prisoners  in  his  hands 
in  close  confinement.  The  facts,  which  Andrews 
was  at  that  time  unable  to  ascertain,  were  far 
worse  than  he  suspected.  The  reports  of  Colonels 
John  Griffith  and  Frank  Powers  show  that  a  squad 
of  negroes  in  arms  was  captured  at  Jackson  on  the 
3d  of  August.  While  bringing  them  into  camp, "four 
of  the  negroes  attempted  to  escape"  (Colonel  Powers 
reports) ;  "  I  ordered  the  guard  to  shoot  them  down ; 
in  the  confusion  the  other  negroes  attempted  to 
escape  likewise.  I  then  ordered  every  one  shot,  «Treat- 
and  with  my  six-shooter  assisted  in  the  execution  pSsTnerl" 
of  the  order.    I  believe  few  escaped,  most  of  them  'cSS^m, 

p.  645. 

being  killed  instantly."  There  is  no  tone  of  any 
regret  or  apology  in  this  —  both  these  officers  are 
as  complacent  over  their  exploit  as  young  hunt- 
ers talking  about  a  good  bag  of  game.  It  is  hard 
to  enter  into  the  minds  of  men  to  whom  these 
things  are  possible,  unless  we  reflect  that  an  en- 
vironment of  slavery  created  peculiar  ideas  of 
humanity  and  morals. 

Mr.  Lincoln  was  helpless  in  face  of  this  state  of 
things.  He  was  incapable  of  ordering  the  bloody 
reprisals  required  by  the  lex  talionis.  He  could  not 
have  caused  such  orders  to  be  executed  if  they  had 
been  given.  The  public  opinion  of  the  North  would 
not  have  permitted  it.  While  Mr.  Ould  was  spur- 
ring his  Government  to  every  extremity  of  cruelty, 
General  E.  A.  Hitchcock  wrote  to  the  Secretary 
of  War  that  his  mind  was  full  night  and  day  of  the 


chap.  xvi.  awf  ul  subject  of  retaliation,  and  while  he  acquiesced 
in  the  threats  the  Government  had  made  to  pro- 
tect the  lives  of  its  soldiers,  he  earnestly  advised 
that  they  be  not  carried  out.     "  If  they  choose  in 
mentaof     the  South,"  he  said,  "  to  act  as  barbarians,  we,  as  a 

Prisoners  " 

P.  318. '  civilized  people,  ought  not  to  follow  their  example." 
The  President  was  compelled  to  take  the  same 
view.  He  could  not  get  accurate  information  as 
to  the  murder  or  enslavement  of  negroes ;  the  Con- 
federates denied  every  specific  case ;  and  he  could 
not  destroy  an  innocent  man  in  cold  blood  for  a 
crime  his  superiors  had  committed.  He  remained, 
therefore,  at  a  grievous  disadvantage,  in  face  of  the 
Richmond  authorities,  in  regard  to  the  question  of 
prisoners,  from  the  beginning  to  the  end. 

It  was  not  possible,  on  the  other  hand,  even  for 
Mr.  Davis  to  carry  out  the  full  rigor  of  his  procla- 
mation. Whatever  his  wishes  might  have  been,  he 
could  not  send  every  captured  officer  to  the  gal- 
lows. He  did  not  publicly  withdraw  his  threats, 
but  from  time  to  time  the  agents  of  the  respective 
governments  were  permitted  to  carry  on  exchanges 
not  only  of  enlisted  men,  but  of  officers.  The 
Union  agent  tried  hard  to  get  a  declaration  that  the 
proclamation  was  revoked,  but  this  was  sometimes 
angrily  refused  and  sometimes  courteously  evaded 
by  the  Confederates. 

There  were  other  causes  of  dispute.  The  car- 
tel provided  that  all  prisoners  of  war  on  either 
side  should  be  sent  either  to  Aiken's  Landing 
on  the  James  River  or  to  Vicksburg,  to  be  paroled 
or  exchanged,  though  the  commanders  of  two 
opposing  armies  might  agree  on  other  points.  No 
attention  was  paid  to  this  rule  by  the  rebel  author- 

PRISONERS    OF    WAR  457 

ities,  unless  it  suited  them.  They  continually  pa-  chap.  xvi. 
roled  prisoners  on  the  field  whom  they  were  unable 
to  take  with  them,  soldiers  captured  in  cavalry 
raids,  citizens  seized  on  their  farms  or  in  the 
streets,  and  insisted  upon  their  equivalents  in  ex- 
change. The  Federal  commissioner  would  protest ; 
an  angry  interchange  of  notes  would  take  place, 
and  the  matter  would  end  by  the  Union  commis- 
sioner yielding  the  point  for  the  time  being,  and 
giving  notice  that  it  would  not  be  allowed  again ; 
the  whole  performance  would  be  repeated  a  few  canby's 
months  later.  The  Union  authorities,  for  instance,  p?®' 
allowed  full  equivalents  for  the  thirteen  thousand 
men  paroled  and  turned  loose  at  Harper's  Ferry, 
in  order  that  the  captors  might  take  part  in  the 
battle  of  Antietam  ;  and  it  did  the  same  for  the  vic- 
tims of  Stuart's  Maryland  raid.    On  the  other  hand,      n»a., 

J  7  p.  324. 

the  Confederates  took  advantage  of  the  paroles  given  aB™g^» 
by  Pemberton's  army  at  the  capitulation  of  Vicks-     T2S) 
burg,  arbitrarily  declared  the  prisoners  exchanged,     Haiieek. 
and  sent  them,  a  heavy  reenforcement,  to  Bragg's    aeSefit. 
army  at  Chattanooga. 

In  June,  1863,  a  serious  question  arose  from  the 
treatment  to  which  Colonel  A.  D.  Streight  and  his 
officers  were  subjected.  They  had  been  captured  in  a 
cavalry  raid  in  Alabama  and  Georgia,  and  on  the 
pretext  that  they  were  inciting  slaves  to  insurrec- 
tion, they  had  been  excluded  from  the  privilege  of 
exchange,  and  had  been  put  in  close  confinement 
as  felons.  In  this  case  the  Union  authorities  im- 
prisoned John  H.  Morgan  and  his  men  in  retaliation. 
Both  Streight  and  Morgan  eliminated  the  personal 
element  from  this  controversy  by  escaping  from 
jail.    The  Confederates  continued  to  the  end  the 




This  reason 
is  given  by 

Mr.  Ould 

in  an  article 


since  the 

The  Phila- 
"  Times' " 
of  the  War, 
p.  56. 

p.  503. 




p.  332. 

Ibid.,  p.  336. 

Nov.  9,  1863. 

practice  of  treating  men  of  any  political  prominence 
with  especial  severity:  Messrs